French Christmas Quiz 2012

Our house in the snow - not like that today

Our house in the snow – not like that today

A very Merry Christmas to all my readers.

Today we sat out to eat lunch under a cloudless blue sky, after several very gloomy, wet days. We hope to do the same tomorrow (Christmas Eve). The past few Christmases have been freezing cold, and we even had a heavy snowfall on Christmas Eve 2010, so this almost balmy weather makes a pleasant change.

Now, just because it’s Christmas, there is no excuse not to exercise your brain cells. So, as a little present, I have devised a quiz of 20 questions with multiple choice answers about French history, culture, literature, gastronomy, etc. This should keep you occupied after your Yuletide lunch. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can have a go at last year’s version as well.

I will post up the answers on 28th December, so you have a few days to work on yours. Please don’t post up your answers in the comments here; it spoils it for everyone else. And try not to use the Internet if you can – it doesn’t always give the right answer. You can find many – but not all – of the answers on this blog.

I hope you have fun doing it. Have a great Christmas.

1. In which French town could you take refuge from the predicted end of the world on 21st December 2012?

a)      Vichy
b)      Bugarach
c)       Lourdes
d)      Caylus

2. Who said, « Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai qui tu es ». (Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are)?

a)      Elizabeth David
b)      Raymond Blanc
c)       Brillat-Savarin
d)      King Henri IV

3. Which French king was the first husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine?

a)      Louis XIV
b)      François I
c)       Louis VII
d)      Charlemagne

And, for an extra point, who was her second husband? (Tip: he was none of the above).

4. Which southwest French city was awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 2010?

a)      Toulouse
b)      Bordeaux
c)       Montauban
d)      Albi

5. Who headed the short-lived Corsican republic, 1755-1769?

a)      Pascal Paoli
b)      Napoleon Bonaparte
c)       King Theodore
d)      Tino Rossi

6. A picture question. What is this protuberance from a building about three metres up?

Strange protuberance

Strange protuberance

a)      A lavatory
b)      A chestnut store
c)       A hidey hole
d)      A bread oven

7. What is phylloxera?

a)      A virulent form of flu
b)      A microscopic bug that feeds on vine roots
c)       A bacterium that gives Roquefort cheese its green veins
d)      A type of butterfly

8. What is piquette?

a)      A card game
b)      A weak vin ordinaire
c)      A fit of bad temper
d)      A nickname for a French president’s mistress

9. Another picture question. Which famous character is associated with this bridge?

Fortified bridge

Fortified bridge

a)      D’Artagnan
b)      Cardinal Richelieu
c)      The devil
d)      Quasimodo

10. Which French entertainer recently moved to Belgium to avoid French taxation?

a)      Jean Dujardin
b)      Johnny Hallyday
c)      Daniel Auteuil
d)      Gérard Dépardieu

11. How many crocus flowers does it take to produce 1 kilogram of saffron?

a)      200
b)      2,000
c)      20,000
d)      200,000

12. What is aligot?

a)      Pureed potato with cheese
b)      Stewed goat
c)      Stuffed cabbage
d)      Tripe

13. On the roots of which tree would you normally find tuber melanosporum growing?

a)      Beech
b)      Ash
c)      Oak
d)      Black poplar

14. Which is the largest département (surface area) in France métropolitaine (i.e. mainland France and Corsica)?

a)      Aveyron
b)      Dordogne
c)      Gironde
d)      Landes

15. Which is the least densely-populated département (inhabitants/km2) in France métropolitaine?

a)      Aveyron
b)      Creuse
c)      Cantal
d)      Lozère

16. How many places are designated “l’un des plus beaux villages de France” (one of the most beautiful villages in France)?

a)      64
b)      157
c)      279
d)      832

17. Which of the following famous people were born in France?

a)      Emile Zola
b)      Georges Simenon
c)      Jacques Brel
d)      Yves Montand

18. Who wrote the novella Carmen, which was the inspiration for Bizet’s opera of the same name?

a)      Honoré de Balzac
b)      Victor Hugo
c)      Prosper Mérimée
d)      Stendhal

19. In which year were French women allowed to exercise a profession/occupation without their husband’s authorisation?

a)      1918
b)      1945
c)      1965
d)      1968

20. What are you doing if you “faire le chabrot”?

a)      Dancing a traditional folk dance
b)      Executing a tricky boules shot
c)      Making bootleg liquor
d)      Adding wine to the dregs of your soup

Copyright © 2012 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved


About nessafrance

My husband and I moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I am fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs and enjoy seeking out the reality behind the myths. I run my own copywriting business and write short stories and the occasional novel in my spare time. My husband appears here as the SF, which stands for Statistics Freak, owing to his penchant for recording numbers about everything.
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8 Responses to French Christmas Quiz 2012

  1. Kate Swaffer says:

    Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël to you too Vanessa.
    I hope you had a spectacular time with your loved ones.
    With love and hope, always.


    • nessafrance says:

      We had a lovely Christmas Day with a group of good friends and a lot of animals! It’s considered bad luck in French to give New Year wishes before the day itself, so I’ll just say bonne fin d’année (happy end of the year).


  2. David says:

    I know 12 answers for sure. I have a few doubts for 4-5 of them, I don’t know the remaining ones.


    • nessafrance says:

      Well, I designed it not to be too easy. You are doing pretty well by the sound of it. I’ll let everyone have a couple of days more and then post the answers on Friday.


  3. Kate says:

    fascinating! great quiz! looking forward to the answers as I knew hardly any, oops. Joyeux Noël to you and all of your readers and thank you for your brilliant blog this year, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to visiting your beautiful region in a few months time.


    • nessafrance says:

      All will be revealed on 28th Dec! In the meantime, thanks for your kind words about my blog. Let me know if you are coming anywhere near us during your visit. Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël.


  4. Brilliant, I’m looking forward to having a go at this quiz. Wishing you and the SF a wonderful Christmas and happy new year.


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