First, I’d like to wish all my readers a very happy festive season. Today we almost sat out to eat lunch under a cloudless blue sky but it was just a little too breezy. Alas, the forecast for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day isn’t good. Since many recent Christmases have been freezing cold (and complete with power cut on one occasion), the milder weather is welcome.
As for the past two years, I have put together a little quiz: 20 questions on French history culture, literature, gastronomy etc. with multiple choice answers. This should keep you occupied whilst digesting your Christmas feast.
I will post up the answers on 29th December to allow you a few days to complete it. Please can I ask you not to post up your answers in the comments here, since it spoils it for everyone else. You’ll find some of the answers on this blog, the rest no doubt on the internet – but beware, Wikipedia is not infallible.
There’s no prize, just the satisfaction of stretching your brain cells as well as your waistline over Christmas.
Have fun. Have a great Christmas.
1. What is the name of President Hollande’s partner?
a) Valerie Rottweiler
b) Valerie Trierweiler
c) Valerie Budweiser
2. Which French political party changed its name to Rassemblement Bleu Marine in 2012?
a) The UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire)
b) The Front National
3. If someone offers you a bûche de Noël do you:
a) Put it on the fire?
b) Hang it on the end of your bed for Père Noël to put your presents in?
c) Eat it?
4. When did the island of Corsica become part of France?
5. What do the initials BCBG stand for?
a) Bon chef, bon gourmand
b) Bon chic, bon genre
c) Bâtiment classé bien gouvernemental
6. Who is known as ‘l’homme aux 40 châteaux’ (the man with 40 chateaux)?
a) Nicolas Sarkozy
b) Dominique Strauss-Kahn
c) Bernard Magrez
7. Which French celebrity became a Russian citizen for tax reasons in 2013?
a) Nicolas Sarkozy
b) Gérard Dépardieu
c) Jean-Paul Gaultier
8. Which famous British actress took part in the shooting of a film at Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in 2013?
a) Helen Mirren
b) Judi Dench
c) Keira Knightley
9. Outside Paris, which French city has the largest population?
10. Which French city was European Capital of Culture in 2013?
11. What is ‘La Samaritaine’?
a) The biggest military hospital in France
b) A charity for the homeless
c) A Paris department store
12. What is a bastide?
a) A person of dubious parentage
b) The 13th-century equivalent of a new town
c) A fortified house
13. What is the maximum height of the Viaduc (bridge) de Millau?
a) 277 metres
b) 343 metres
c) 452 metres
14. Which famous painter is associated with the Provençal town of Arles?
a) Claude Monet
b) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
c) Vincent van Gogh
15. What was mined extensively in the Quercy region during the late 19th century?
16. Which French king is reputed to have said he wanted every French peasant to have a chicken in the pot on Sundays?
a) Louis XIV
b) Henri IV
c) François I
17. Which famous French product is said to risk being in short supply in future?
a) Foie gras
18. Who were les Cathérinettes?
a) The French equivalent of suffragettes
b) Volunteer nurses during World War I
c) Unmarried women aged 25+
19. Who said, ‘Du sublime au ridicule il n’y a qu’un pas’ (it’s just one step from the sublime to the ridiculous)?
a) Napoléon Bonaparte
b) Jean-Jacques Rousseau
c) Charles de Gaulle
20. How much does the winner of the literary Prix Goncourt get in prize money?
a) 10,000 €
b) 1,000 €
c) 10 €
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