Uncle Charlie's Yuletide Quiz
BY way of a break from the usual fare, a bit of intellectual fun to go with the nuts you crack, help pass the time and test your erudition. If you've got company, you are allowed to talk and confer.
First, by way of acknowledgment to the Xmas time, here's a round:
IN THE NICK OF TIME
1) Father Christmas is variously said to live at the North Pole, or in Lapland; but in what country was the real St.Nicholas - Santa Klaus - born?
2) Children in England and many other countries hope Santa will bring good presents for Xmas, but from whom do children in Spain look forward to presents, and when?
3 What is the significance of Nollaig na mBan, traditionally celebrated in Ireland on January 6? (easy if you know Irish!)
4) Who come to town in Iceland in the fortnight before Xmas?
5) Beit Jalla Lions celebrated their first anniversary in October.
How can this rugby team claim St.Nicholas as defender?
Moving on to some SEASONAL FARE:
6) When, traditionally in England is 'Stir-up Sunday', and what might be stirred up then?
7) What would Norwegians do with gløgg at Christmas?
8) What fruit, known as "fruit of the gods" to ancient Greeks, takes its modern name from an Algonquin Indian word "powhatan", meaning 'dried fruit', and is often in puddings eaten in the United States at Christmas?
9) In what country are hallachas, sometimes spelt hayachas, meat with raisins and olives, wrapped in maize dough and plantain leaves then boiled or steamed, commonly eaten on Christmas Day?
10) Commonly eaten at Christmas by Syrian Christians, this fruit is called burtugal, in Arabic, from a country whence many were brought. But where especially might children in Britain and the USA traditionally find them?
AROUND THIS TIME OF THE YEAR:
11) In what modern-day country, then part of a larger kingdom, did a miners' strike break out on December 21, 1920, and turn into an uprising when Royal troops were sent to crush the strike and deport "foreign" miners?.
12) The train in our picture above was leaving the no longer existing Chiswick station to steam through Bedford Park, in west London. It was painted by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), who is himself depicted in a mural at Angel Alley, off the Whitechapel Road. The Russian revolutionary known as Serge Stepniak appears in the same mural, but what happened on December 23, 1895 to connect Stepniak with the railway in this painting?
13) What country became independent on December 24, 1951, as a kingdom under a monarch whose name might make you think he had Welsh connections?
14) Who disappeared from England in November 1974, and was thought dead, but was discovered in Melbourne on December 24, 1974 by Australian police who thought they had found Lord Lucan!?
15) Whose son William, aged 17, was arrested on December 24, 1997, and later cautioned, for supplying cannabis?
WHERE IN THE WORLD?
16) Where in the world was artist Camille Pissarro, mentioned above, born? (clue: there is a connection of sorts with the Christmas story, but it was not Christmas Island!)
17) Kwazulu-Natal is in South Africa, but in what country could you visit the city resort of Natal founded as a village on Christmas Day 1599?
18) Beit Jala, home of the rugby club mentioned in our first round, is near a more famous city, particularly associated with this time of the year. What is it called, and who are the two most famous figures reputedly born there?
19) Next to which town nearby are the Shepherds' Fields?
20) There are several Christmas Islands in the world, including an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean and an island in the Pacific now called Kiritimati. For what was the latter used by British governments in the 1950s? And what is this island first to celebrate each year?
Well, hope these are not too difficult or obscure. They should give something to talk about and pass the time, you can always use the Internet (like me)! Answers on December 30, and any comment should be saved for then so as not to give the game away.