Solstice Quiz

A tall balsam tree stands, decorated.  A white cat in a rocking chair sleeps nearby

WATERMELLEN mentioned Yalda in our Google Group, which reminded me of a fun quiz I once constructed for a holiday party at work. Here it is, if anyone would like to play. I will post the official answer in a week, 🙂

The winter solstice occurs at the instant when the Sun’s position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane as the observer. Often since the event is observed as the reversal of the Sun’s ebbing presence in the sky, concepts of the birth or rebirth of sun gods have been common and, in cultures using winter solstitially based cyclic calendars, the year as reborn has been celebrated with regard to life-death-rebirth deities or new beginnings. Also reversal is another usual theme as in slave and master reversals.The word solstice derives from Latin “sol” (Sun) and “sistere” (stand still), Winter Solstice meaning “Sun stand still in winter.”

Use whatever means you like, to match up the culture with each celebration. There is one best match for each pair.

List of Celebrations:

1 “Festival of lights” (Dec 16–23)

2 “First Fruits” (Dec 26 – Jan 1)

3 “Holiday”

4 “The Extreme of Winter” (Dec 22)

5 Alban Arthuan (Dec 22)

6 Cristes mæsse (Dec 25)

7 Eid-al-Adha (Dec 30/31)

8 Festivus (Dec 23)

9 Inti Raymi – the Festival of the Sun (Dec 22)

10 Korochun (Dec 21-23)

11 Lenaea – the Festival of the Wild Women

12 Natalis Solis Invicti (Dec 25)

13 New Year’s Eve (Dec 31)

14 Rohatsu – Bodhi Day (Dec 8)

15 Saturnalia (Dec 17–23)

16 Shabe-Yalda (Dec 21)

17 The death of Osiris (Dec 21)

18 Yule

List of Cultures

A 20th Century Western Culture (NBC)

B Ancient Egypt

C Ancient Greece

D Ancient Incas

E Ancient Rome

F Buddhism

G China

H Christianity

I Druidism

J Islam

K Judaism

L Pagan Scandanavia

M Pagan Slavs

N Pan-Africa

O Pastafarianism

P Persia

Q Post-Gregorian Western Culture

R Roman Empire, 274 ~ 400 AD

Ready, set, GO!

Update: A friend objected that Pastafarians were not represented and provided this appropriate greeting:

An image of a Flying Spaghetti Monster, with the words, “May his noodly appendages touch you this holiday season.”

…so I added the appropriate holiday to the quiz. 😉

6 thoughts on “Solstice Quiz”

  1. List of Celebrations Culture
    1 “Festival of lights” (Dec 16–23) K Judaism
    2 “First Fruits” (Dec 26 – Jan 1) N Pan-Africa
    3 “The Extreme of Winter” (Dec 22) G China
    4 Alban Arthuan (Dec 22) I Druidism
    5 Cristes mæsse (Dec 25) H Christianity
    6 Eid-al-Adha (Dec 30/31) J Islam
    7 Festivus (Dec 23) A 20th Century Western Culture (NBC)
    8 Inti Raymi – the Festival of the Sun (Dec 22) D Ancient Incas
    9 Korochun (Dec 21-23) M Pagan Slavs
    10 Lenaea – the Festival of the Wild Women C Ancient Greece
    11 Natalis Solis Invicti (Dec 25) Q Roman Empire, 274 ~ 400 AD
    12 New Year’s Eve (Dec 31) P Post-Gregorian Western Culture
    13 Rohatsu – Bodhi Day (Dec 8) F Buddhism
    14 Saturnalia (Dec 17–23 E Ancient Rome
    15 Shabe-Yalda (Dec 21) O Persia
    16 The death of Osiris (Dec 21) B Ancient Egypt
    17 Yule L Pagan Scandanavia

    1. Your response is duly noted. 😁

      BTW, I added Pastafarianism late last night, if you want to include it in your answer… 🍝

      I will release the “official” answers on Xmas Eve 🎄 😉

  2. I’m sitting back and letting others teach me on this one, although I did note the Festivus and Death of Osiris, same pairing as the Barb above did. Then my mind flitted off somewhere else (I think this first appeared on Fence Fixing day, and today was wrapping day, and my brain is fully used up!)

    Subscribing to comments so I see what others write!

    1. I posted this quiz yesterday evening, but like you I can’t keep my days straight, and I don’t know if yesterday was “fence repair day,” or not! 😂

      Sounds like you’re being productive and that’s a good thing. 😉

    1. It’s a parody created to prove a point about how absurd it is, to allow certain religious beliefs in schools and governmental institutions, and not others.

      I intended to put all the answers up a week ago, and then got some disturbing news that means my life is going to undergo yet another big upheaval. Life needs to just cut this crap out, already. I’m tired!

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