’Tis the season for joyful times in the company of family and friends during the winter holidays of Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. For young and old alike, the holidays are filled with anticipation and excitement. There may be parties aplenty and gifts galore, but the true meaning of the holidays lies in intangibles such as kindness, gratitude and peace.
This season is also a time to slow our pace and just have fun. In that spirit, take a little time for a polar plunge into our winter holiday quiz:
- This year, Chanukah begins on Dec. 16. What does the word “Chanukah” mean? a) charity, b) bravery, c) dedication or d) victory
- What is a traditional food for Chanukah? a) cheese, b) potato pancakes, c) doughnuts or d) all of the above
- In Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” who was Ebenezer Scrooge’s dead business partner? a) Bob Cratchit, b) Jacob Marley, c) Bill Sikes or d) Uriah Heep
- From which country does the poinsettia plant originate? a) Mexico, b) Spain, c) India or d) England
- Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday in which African-Americans celebrate their heritage. Members of all racial and ethnic groups join the celebration as well. On what day does Kwanzaa begin? a) December 24, b) December 25, c) December 26 or d) December 27
- Kwanzaa is a relatively new holiday, modeled after the first harvest festivals in Africa. In what year was Kwanzaa first celebrated? a) 1950, b) 1966, c) 1982 or d) 1999
- c. The word “Chanukah” means dedication. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Chanukah celebrates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
- d. All of the above. Because of the emphasis on oil in the miracle of Chanukah, foods fried in oil are customary for the holiday.
- b. Scrooge’s business partner was Jacob Marley. In “A Christmas Carol,” he appears as a ghost to warn Scrooge of the consequences of his stingy ways.
- a. The poinsettia, a perennial favorite among plants for Christmas, celebrated on Dec. 25, is a native of Mexico.
- c. Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January 1.
- b. Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate the themes of family, culture and heritage.
How did you do? Consider sharing the history behind your own family traditions with your children, bringing even more meaning to the holidays.