Here comes everyone’s favourite time of the year; holiday party season. Whether you’re getting together with friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner or spending the evening at an office Christmas party, these facts are sure to show everyone that you’ve got the holiday spirit.
Starting with everyone’s favourite excuse to eat too much turkey and watch football all day, here is some Thanksgiving trivia you can recite to amaze your relatives at the dinner table.
Every year the president pardons a turkey on Thanksgiving. Who was the first president to do so?
John F. Kennedy
Which NFL team has lost the most Thanksgiving Day games?
Also the Detroit Lions
How many calories does the average American consume at Thanksgiving Dinner?
What year was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade first televised?
1939, locally in New York City
President Calvin Coolidge received an unusual gift on Thanksgiving in 1926. What was it?
A live raccoon, which he adopted and named Rebecca
Most of Australia doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but one area does. Which area is it?
The United States isn’t the only country to celebrate Thanksgiving, which other countries do as well?
Canada, Liberia, St. Lucia, and Grenada. All on different days too!
Which classic Thanksgiving food was banned in 1644 by Oliver Cromwell?
How many cranberries go into a single can of cranberry sauce?
While the dates don’t always match up, the next holiday of the season is often Hanukkah, celebrated by Jewish people all over the world.
For how long is Hanukkah celebrated each year?
Eight days and nights
What does the word Hanukkah mean in Hebrew?
What four letters of the Hebrew alphabet appear on a dreidel?
Shin, Nun, Gimmel, and Hay
Where is the largest menorah in the world located?
Grand Army Plaza in New York
What day of the week can Hanukkah not start on?
Who was the first United States President to light a menorah?
Which astronaut celebrated Hanukkah while in outer space?
How many different spellings of Hanukkah are there?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, 24
Which traditional fried food is commonly associated with Hanukkah?
Latkes (fried potato pancakes)
Hanukkah’s start date varies when using our current calendar, but has a static date in the Hebrew calendar, falling on the 25th of which month?
How many lamps did the original menorah in Temple have?
While it may not be among the more well known holidays of the festive season, Los Posadas has a rich history as a lead up to Christmas in many Latin American countries.
The Latin American holiday of Los Posadas is typically celebrated between which days?
Where does the name “Los Posadas” come from?
The Spanish word posada, meaning inn
At the end of each of the nine nights of Los Posadas, what do children do to celebrate?
Break open star-shaped pinatas
What do the star-shaped pinatas children break open for Los Posadas represent?
The star that led the three wise men to Jesus’ birth site
The yule log, the yule fire, and many other of what are now Christmas traditions originated or have been adapted from the Pagan traditions dating centuries back.
The Winter Solstice, or Yule, is celebrated on which day every year?
Which two cultures do Yule celebrations come from?
Germanic-Saxons and Scandinavians
Which ancient and mysterious structure was built to honour, and celebrate, the Winter Solstice?
Before carrots and cookies for Santa Claus and his reindeer, children would leave sugar and hay out for which God and his horse?
Odin, and the eight-legged horse Sleipnir
Now known as Christmas trees, Yule trees were initially brought into homes by people in what region of the world?
Santa Claus is known to bring gifts to good children and coal to naughty children now, but that was not always the case. In German folklore, which Christmas demon would show up to punish those on the naughty list?
The Santa Claus we know and love today is based on a real person, St. Nicholas. Which modern country was St. Nicholas from?
Kris Kringle didn’t always wear a red and white suit, that came from an advertising campaign from which popular soft drink?
In what year was the famous Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Square first lit up?
The ninth, and most famous reindeer, Rudolph joined the team in which year?
The best-selling song of all time is which Christmas song?
Bing Crosby’s White Christmas
While milk and cookies are the most common item left for Santa by children, the Swedes have a different custom. What do they leave out for him?
Coffee (in case he gets tired)
Which US state was the last to declare Christmas a holiday?
Which country popularized the use of Christmas lights?
What colour on the berries of mistletoe?
Which two of Santa’s reindeer were named for weather events?
Donner and Blitzen (Their names are German for thunder and lightning respectively)
Many children use NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) to track Santa’s movements on Christmas Eve. When did NORAD start tracking the Jolly Old Elf?
In Italian folklore, it’s not Santa that drops presents down the chimney. Who does it instead?
A witch known as Befana
December 26th, the day after Christmas, is celebrated by Canada, the United Kingdom, and other Commonwealth nations as what holiday?
And now, to round out the list, Kwanzaa also starts begins on December 26th. How many of these questions do you know the answer to?
What language does the word Kwanzaa come from?
Kwanzaa is a significantly more recent holiday than many, what year was it first celebrated?
Which three colours are referred to as “the three colours of Kwanzaa?”
Red, green, and black
Which US state was the first to celebrate Kwanzaa?
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