Here are the answers:
- Parsnips are very popular at Christmas. Which of the following other plants is NOT related to the parsnip?
The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), like parsley, coriander and several other useful plants including celery, cumin and fennel, is a member of the umbellifer family (the name is related to the word “umbrella” and refers to the canopy of flowers each of these plants produces. Turnip, meanwhile, is a member of the Brassica family and a cousin of the cabbage.
- According to David Burton’s book The Raj at Table, given the unavailability of turkey at Christmas, what was the preferred alternative?
Although the Indian peacock (the species most of us think of when we think of a peacock) is considered sacred in several parts of India and its killing and eating was thus forbidden there, it was nevertheless a popular substitute for turkey where it wasn’t protected by this taboo. It’s now India’s national bird.
- Father Christmas is typically depicted as wearing red and white. What drink is reputed to have caused this tradition?
- Mulled wine
- Raspberry Cordial
- Ruby Port
It’s perhaps a tribute to the perceived power of Coca-Cola’s marketing that so many people believe this to be the case. In fact, several depictions of Father Christmas (or St Nicholas) dressed in red with white fur trimmings exist prior to Coca-Cola taking up the image in the 1930s to boost their winter sales.
- The quote, “After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives” is generally attributed to whom?
- Winston Churchill
- Oscar Wilde
- George Bernard Shaw
- Woody Allen
Dublin-born author Oscar Wilde – Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, to give him his full name – is still justly famous today for his often caustic comments on the attitudes and customs of the Late Victorian society in which he lived.
- “Good King Wenceslas looked out/On the feast of Stephen…” The purpose of his errand was to give food and alms to the poor. On which day is the feast of Stephen?
- The day before Christmas
- Christmas Day
- The day after Christmas
- The Sunday before Christmas
The English call 26 December Boxing Day, the Irish and much of the rest of Europe know it as St Stephen’s Day. Although the story in the song is a legend, Wenceslas (Václav) was a living person – he was Duke of Bohemia from 921 until being murdered in 935 by plotters led by his ambitious younger brother. He’s the patron saint of Prague, Bohemia and the Czech Republic.
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Have a great Christmas!