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Winter Solstice Quiz

How much do you know about the ancient traditions of the Winter Solstice? Many of which we still practice today! 8 Questions.

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The Romans honored the Winter Solstice with a festival called Saturnalia. During this celebration:

  • Slaves ate with their masters.
  • The practice of giving presents under trees began.
  • Animals were sacrificed to appease Saturn, the god of light.


The Scandinavian barbarians held a festival called Jiuleis to celebrate the solstice. Can you guess what popular custom came from this feast?

  • The Julienne method of preparing meat.
  • Serving egg nog, a Scandinavian beverage.
  • The burning of the Yule Log.


Did you know that many of the ancient ruins we visit were built to celebrate solstices? Which of the following temples honors the Winter Solstice?

  • Stonehenge in England.
  • Chichen-Itza in Mexico.
  • Newgrange in Ireland.


In Norse mythology, Balder, the god of the summer sun, was killed by an arrow made of a now popular Christmas leaf. Which one was it?

  • Poinsettia.
  • Mistletoe.
  • Pine needle.


Many of the traditions associated with Christmas actually come from the pagan worship of the Winter Solstice. Which of the following festivals involves the custom of giving presents?

  • Sigillaria, the Roman holiday after Saturnalia.
  • Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.
  • Festivus de Libertas, The Festival of the Liberated Sun.


When is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere?

  • December 1.
  • Between December 21 and 23
  • January 3.


Which place on earth receives the longest period of daylight on December 21?

  • The north pole.
  • The south pole.
  • All points along the equator.


The seasons are caused by:

  • The elliptical shape of the earth's orbit around the sun.
  • The changing direction of the earth's rotation on its axis.
  • The tilt of the earth's rotational axis.