Christmas challenge

Ho, ho, ho!
It's that time of year when we're dashing around madly, but at the same time work sometimes slows down a bit. When better moment to take a break from thrashing around for a little light entertainment.

And so we proudly present the Now Appearing Christmas Mostly Musical Quiz. There is no prize (though do feel free to add a comment saying how you did) - just the satisfaction of knowing stuff. Or not.

No Wikipedia or Google cheating please - just try from the top of your head.

The answers are down below.

1. Why do Rangifer tarandus abound this time of year?

2. How would you distinguish Father Christmas from Santa Claus in an identity parade?

3. A certain rhyme in depth:
a) Which poem introduced Santa's reindeer (a bonus if you can give both titles)?
b) Who wrote it?
c) Five years either way, when was it written?
d) Which two reindeer have variant spellings of their name (a bonus for the variants and why)?
e) Who wrote the poem that introduced a ninth reindeer?
f) Three years either way, when was it written?
g) Who set the poem to music?
h) Three years either way, when was it written?

4. What is a macaronic carol?

5. What date is Holy Innocents Day?

6. A funky music collection of 1582 introduced Christmas hits like In Dulce Jubilo (it dates back to the 13th century, but this made it), Gaudete!, Unto us in Born a Son and the tune of Good King Wenceslas. What was it called? (Bonus for the country it originated)

7. Where was Wenceslas a king, what was his actual name and when did he reign (10 years either way)? - three marks up for grabs!

8. Who wrote Silent Night - a mark each for the two (surnames will do)?

9. Multiply drummers drumming by swans a swimming and take away ladies dancing. What do you get?

10. Time for a Christmas drink...









1. Rangifer tarandus are reindeer (or caribou).

2. Father Christmas wears a full length hooded cloak in either red or green. Santa Claus wears separate hat, jacket and trousers in red with white trim, and a broad black belt.

3. A certain rhyme in depth:
a) Twas The Night Before Christmas - A Visit from St Nicholas
b) Clement Clark Moore
c) 1823
d) Donner & Blitzen / Dunder or Donder & Blixem - the second set (used in the original) are the Dutch words for thunder and lightning
e) Robert L. May
f) 1939
g) Johnny Marks
h) 1949

4. A carol in more than one language, typically Latin and English/ language of your choice

5. 28 December

6. Piae Cantiones - Finland

7. Bohemia, Vaclav, 922-929

8. Mohr and Gruber

9. 75

10. Mine's a pint

Image from Wikipedia, by Douglas Rahden