Specialist: Royal Shrovetide Football (Ashbourne)

From the quiz on 1/8/17.

  1. The two teams, the Up’ards and Down’ards, are determined by birthplace relative to Henmore Brook, a tributary of which river in the Peak District? Dove

  2. Which English footballer, who managed Derby County from 1967 to 1973, turned up the ball (started the game by throwing the ball into the air) in 1975? Brian Clough

  3. In order to score a goal, the ball must be tapped against a millstone how many times in succession? 3

  4. The game was cancelled in 1968 and 2001 because of outbreaks of which disease? Foot-and-mouth

  5. Royal Shrovetide Football officially received its Royal designation in 1928 after which future king turned up the ball? Edward VIII

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Beliefs & traditions 8

From the quiz on 4/7/17.

  1. In which religion is a special braided bread known as challah baked to celebrate the sabbath day? Judaism

  2. By what name is the Mexican holiday Día de Muertos more commonly known in English? Day of the Dead

  3. The nursery rhyme Frère Jacques is about a sleeping friar who is supposed to be performing what important religious duty? Ringing the bells (for morning prayer)

  4. The ‘Obby ‘Oss festival, in which two people dressed as large black horses dance and capture young women to bless them with fertility, is a traditional May Day celebration in which Cornish town? Padstow

  5. What deadly special ability is shared by the mythical creatures known as the basilisk, cockatrice and catoblepas? Petrification (turning people to stone)

  6. Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to Marduk in the city of Babylon, is considered a likely influence on or literal candidate for which Biblical structure? Tower of Babel

  7. According to Greek mythology, Europa’s brother Cadmus was the founder and first king of which city in Boeotia? Thebes

  8. What is the name, literally meaning “goat sucker” in Spanish, of the mythical creature that supposedly roams Latin America attacking animals, especially goats? Chupacabra

  9. The leader of which Catholic religious order is known formally as the Superior General and informally as the Black Pope? Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

  10. The “sign of the horns” hand gesture commonly used for heavy metal also has what offensive meaning when directed at a man in countries such as Spain, Italy and Brazil? Cuckold (his wife is cheating on him)

Beliefs & traditions 7

From the quiz on 25/4/17.

  1. Kan’ō, also known as hanami, is the annual Japanese custom of viewing which tree’s blossoms when in full bloom? Sakura (cherry)

  2. David Miscavige, who assumed the role of chairman of the Religious Technology Center in 1987, is the current de facto leader of which religious organization? (Church of) Scientology

  3. According to the Old Testament, who had sons named Gershom and Eliezer, a wife named Zipporah, a sister named Miriam and a brother named Aaron? Moses

  4. Surya (in Hindu mythology), Inti (in Incan), Tonatiuh (in Aztec) and Apollo (in Graeco–Roman) are deities associated with which celestial body? Sun

  5. In Norse mythology, the goddess Freyja rides a chariot pulled by two of which animal? Cat

  6. In Jewish folklore, what name, from the Hebrew for “cling”, is given to a malevolent wandering spirit that possesses a living person? Dybbuk

  7. What must a Muslim do according to sawm, the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam? Fast (during Ramadan)

  8. The world’s second-largest Oktoberfest celebration takes place annually in the twin cities of Kitchener–Waterloo in which Commonwealth country? Canada

  9. In Greek mythology, Maenads (from the Greek for “to go mad”) are the frenzied female followers of which revelrous god? Dionysus (Bacchus)

  10. Static jump, spurning the barre and shin-kicking are among the many events at an annual Olimpick Games held in Chipping Campden in which range of English hills? Cotswolds

Specialist: Japanese culture

From the quiz on 11/4/17.

  1. Yokohama DeNA BayStars, Tokyo Yakult Swallows and Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters are professional teams in which sport, the most popular in Japan? Baseball

  2. Itadakimasu and gochisō-sama deshita are polite Japanese phrases respectively uttered immediately before and after which common activity? Eating (a meal)

  3. What colour is the day celebrated in Japan (and other East Asian countries) on 14th March, when men traditionally reciprocate Valentine’s Day gifts received from women? White

  4. What is signified by wearing a kimono with the right side wrapped over the left (from the wearer’s perspective) instead of the more usual left over right? That the wearer is dead

  5. In Japan, it is considered good luck if the first dream of the new year (hatsuyume) contains Mount Fuji, which bird and which vegetable? Hawk, aubergine

Beliefs & traditions 6

From the quiz on 27/9/16.

  1. In Greek mythology, in which ship does Jason sail in search of the Golden Fleece? Argo

  2. In the Book of Exodus, what did God use to communicate to Moses on Mount Horeb that he was to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, Canaan? Burning bush

  3. Le Morte d’Arthur, one of the main stores of Arthurian legend in English, was compiled or written in the 15th century by which English author? Thomas Malory

  4. In Mahayana Buddhism, what name, from the Sanskrit for “one whose essence is perfect knowledge”, is given to a person who delays their own enlightenment in order to help all other sentient beings attain nirvana? Bodhisattva

  5. The koru, a traditional spiral-shaped Māori symbol often used to represent creation, is a stylized representation of the unfurling frond of which plant endemic to New Zealand? Silver fern

  6. In Norse mythology, what animal is Heiðrún, who produces mead for slain warriors in Valhalla? Goat

  7. The Universal House of Justice the supreme governing institution of which religion founded in Persia in the 19th century? Bahá’í

  8. The Gurning World Championships, in which competitors must put their head through a horse collar and make the ugliest face possible, are held each year as part of the Egremont Crab Fair in which English county? Cumbria (historically Cumberland)

  9. What is the full three-word name of the city and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Galicia in northern Spain whose cathedral is the reputed burial place of St James the Greater? Santiago de Compostela

  10. Historically used as a skin whitener and makeup remover by kabuki actors and geisha, uguisu no fun is a traditional facial cosmetic made from which product of the Japanese bush warbler? Excrement

Specialist: Norse mythology

From the quiz on 6/9/16

  1. How many successive winters constitute Fimbulvetr, the extreme winter that immediately precedes Ragnarök? Three

  2. What animal are Odin’s faithful companions Geri and Freki? Wolves

  3. Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld are three principal members of which race of female deities who reside in a well at the base of Yggdrasil and determine the fates of all humans? Norns (Nornir)

  4. The deities Frey and Freyja are the twin children of the god Njord by which of his relatives? Sister

  5. The clouds are said to have been created when which part of the ancestral jötunn (giant) Ymir was thrown into the sky? Brain

  6. What name, meaning “wrath” in Old Norse, is given to the sword with which the hero Sigurd (Siegfried) slays the dragon Fáfnir? Gram

Beliefs & traditions 5

From the quiz on 26/7/16.

  1. Legendary crossbowman William Tell is said to have liberated which country from an oppressive Austrian ruler named Gessler in the early 14th century? Switzerland

  2. A kangling is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist trumpet-like instrument carved from which large human bone? Femur

  3. Which saint is depicted on the Annulus Piscatoris (Ring of the Fisherman), which is worn as part of the Pope’s regalia and was used to seal official documents prior to the introduction of wax in 1842? St Peter

  4. Originally that of the priesthood, what is the name of the highest caste in the Hindu caste system? Brahman (Brahmin)

  5. In Greek mythology, the ninth labour of Heracles was to retrieve the magical girdle of Hippolyta, the queen of which race of warriors? Amazons

  6. In American folklore, what is the name of the giant lumberjack who is accompanied by his pet Babe the Blue Ox and is said to have created, amongst others, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the Grand Canyon? Paul Bunyan

  7. In Norse mythology, which god has golden teeth, rides a golden-maned horse named Gulltopp, and lives in Himinbjörg at the heavenly end of the rainbow bridge Bifröst, which he constantly defends against mountain giants? Heimdall

  8. Which common English phrase has its origins in chapter 5 of the Book of Daniel, in which the Aramaic inscription “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” foretells the imminent downfall of King Belshazzar? The writing’s on the wall

  9. What name, literally meaning “head of the year” in Hebrew, is given to the Jewish New Year festival, which is held on 1st Tishri each year? Rosh Hashanah

  10. Since the coronation of George III in 1761, which Oxfordshire town has celebrated important royal occasions with an event in which thousands of currant buns are thrown off the roof of the old county hall to the townsfolk assembled below? Abingdon