Anne's Quizzes

Anne's Quizzes

Anne’s Quiz #12


I gleaned much of this information from web sources, but you can find a lot of facts packed into one source in Halloween : An American Holiday, an American History by Lesley Pratt Bannatyne.

1. Why do so many 'black' cats actually have a small bit of white fur?
a) Genetically, it is impossible to create an all-black cat since the black color is only carried on the male chromosome and each cat has at least one female chromosome.
b) During the medieval period in Europe, pure black cats were considered consecrated to the Devil and burned alive, so the gene pool was drastically reduced for them.
c) Pure black cats are considered unlucky so many of them are abandoned or killed.
d) As witchs' familiars, pure black cats do not breed.
2. How did Halloween get its name?
a) It is a derivative of Hollowing, from the custom of hollowing out pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns.
b) It's a slurred rendition of Hall of Ian, a Lord in Ireland who first celebrated the holiday with his tenents.
c) It is the eve of All Saint's Day, November 1st, making it a hallowed evening or Halloween.
d) No one knows; there is no clear root word or meaning.
3. What holiday was the medieval Christian church trying to supplant by celebrating Halloween?
a) The Celtic festival of Samhain, the god of the dead.
b) The Celtic festival of Beltain.
c) The pagan German holiday of Osterlind.
d) The Druid holiday of Paratica.
4. Why did the Celts light bonfires for their holiday?
a) To scare away the evil spirits.
b) To provide light for the festivities which were expected to last until dawn.
c) As a symbolic gesture representing the burning up and thus cancelling out their sins for the year.
d) Originally this was the end of the harvest season, so the stubble from the fields was burned to clear them for the next year's planting.
5. How did Halloween come to America?
a) The pilgrims observed the standard Christian calendar of festivals, including Halloween.
b) It was brought here in the early 1800's by the Scots and the Irish immigrants.
c) Since the British have Guy Fawke's Day, the Americans decided to celebrate Halloween instead as a statement of their independence.
d) Benjamin Franklin observed the holiday in France while there as an ambassador and decided to celebrate such a fun holiday with his family when he returned home. It caught on from there.
6. Why are witches, goblins and ghosts associated with Halloween?
a) By dressing up as witches and other scary creatures, we keep them at bay.
b) Witches created the holiday originally and the rest of us have just jumped on the bandwagon.
c) The Celts believed the goblins had to be placated by the flattery of being imitated.
d) The Celts believed in a continuum approach to life and death where death is just a transformation into another life-form. When the dead roam on Halloween, they were presumed to be in these other forms.
7. How did pumpkins come to be a symbol of Halloween?
a) Since pumpkins happen to be ripe at the right time, they were used as makeshift lanterns.
b) Originally, the Irish carved out large turnips to serve as lanterns at Halloween gatherings. The New World pumpkins were quickly adopted by Irish immigrants in place of turnips.
c) The custom of carving out pumpkins originated with the Iroqois in New York and the white settlers liked the idea.
d) It was thought that goblins lived inside and carved them from the inside out.
8. Where might the custom of trick-or-treating have come from?
a) In England, children beg for 'pennies for the guy' to pay for fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day.
b) In Ireland, a procession led by a man in a white robe wearing a horse-head mask would levy contributions from all the householders in the name of 'Muck Olla'. Dire results were promised if gifts were not forthcoming.
c) A medieval custom of parading a church's relics on All Saints Day gradually shifted to a costumed procession.
d) All of the above.
9. When was All Saints Day and thus All Hallows Eve established as a Christian holiday?
a) Saint Peter established the observence at the time of the Roman persecutions in the 1st century AD.
b) At the time of the Reformation, King Henry VIII of England created the holiday as a gesture of independence from the Pope.
c) In 834, Pope Gregory IV declared it an official part of the church calendar.
d) It never has been made an official Christian holiday.
10. How did the tradition of bobbing for apples get started?
a) It is a celebration of the harvest.
b) It was invented during the Irish potato famine as a very inexpensive yet festive party game.
c) It is an ancient celtic divination. The first person to bite an apple would be the first married in the coming year.
d) People got tired of bobbing for pumpkins and settled on the more manageable apple.


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quiz 12 created 1996