A very Merry Christmas to all my readers.
I’ve compiled a French Christmas quiz every year since 2011. To see the others, click here.
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?
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
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
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?
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?
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?
b) Cardinal Richelieu
c) The devil
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?
12. What is aligot?
a) Pureed potato with cheese
b) Stewed goat
c) Stuffed cabbage
13. On the roots of which tree would you normally find tuber melanosporum growing?
d) Black poplar
14. Which is the largest département (surface area) in France métropolitaine (i.e. mainland France and Corsica)?
15. Which is the least densely-populated département (inhabitants/km2) in France métropolitaine?
16. How many places are designated “l’un des plus beaux villages de France” (one of the most beautiful villages in France)?
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
19. In which year were French women allowed to exercise a profession/occupation without their husband’s authorisation?
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
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