Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about holidays?

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November 25, 2020
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Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about holidays?

You may notice that holiday decorations are showing up around department stores, and the Christmas tree pop-up shops are beginning to line sidewalks. That must mean we're approaching the holiday season, but as everyone's favorite quiz show proves, fun and festive holidays go way beyond the season of mistletoe and Santa Claus. There are federal holidays (which everyone loves for the day off of work—except maybe essential workers), religious holidays (with delicious cuisines and days of prayer), and patriotic holidays replete with fireworks and parades no matter where they're celebrated.

Stacker scoured through "Jeopardy!" archives, the online archive of "Jeopardy!" clues, to create a quiz of 25 questions about holidays. Using primary news sources and government reports, Stacker's quiz includes holidays from around the world and explains the origins, traditions, and pop culture references associated with these events. Each "clue" slide includes the clue, category, value, and date the episode aired, followed by the answer (in traditional "Jeopardy" format). All clues are from November 2020 or before.

Do you know which football teams dating back to the 1960s have been regular combatants on Thanksgiving Day? What about the violent history of a certain holiday associated with Cupid, chocolates, and cards? This quiz explains all of the above as well as the Vietnamese traditions on Lunar New Year, the symbols and traditions associated with Kwanzaa, and the rich and important history of Juneteenth.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans will be staying at home this holiday season, but that shouldn't diminish the importance of reflection and fun when celebrating in the coming months. For starters, try out this quiz and see if you can top your friends, family, and co-workers on your knowledge of holidays. Who knows? Perhaps a tryout on the actual "Jeopardy!" game show could come under the tree.

Clue #1

- Clue: One of the two NFL teams that traditionally hold games on Thanksgiving Day.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Nov. 23, 2010

Answer #1: Who are the Detroit Lions (or the Dallas Cowboys)?

The Cowboys began their tradition of playing on Turkey Day in 1966, but the Lions have hosted Thanksgiving games since the 1930s. The American Football League also held Thanksgiving games, but beginning in 1970, Detroit and Dallas became the only two annual hosts. That changed in 2006 when the NFL added a third Thanksgiving game.

Clue #2

- Clue: In March 1762, the first recorded parade of this type was held in New York City by Irish soldiers serving in the British army.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: June 16, 2016

Answer #2: What is St. Patrick's Day?

The modern parade route heads up 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street in midtown Manhattan; author Mary Higgins Clark once served as grand marshal of the parade. The parade is known for revelry and drawing in tourists who engage in copious amounts of alcohol consumption ("The Simpsons" once mocked St. Patrick's Day in an episode about prohibition). John Mayer wrote a less rowdy themed song called "St. Patrick's Day."

Clue #3

- Clue: Will Smith starred in this film as a Marine fighter pilot helping humanity fight off an alien invasion.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: March 19, 2015

Answer #3: What is 'Independence Day'?

"Independence Day" was actually released on July 3, 1996, but the film still went on to become a box office hit, grossing over $800 million worldwide. The holiday synonymous with fireworks and hot dogs commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress.

Clue #4

- Clue: Time magazine published a 2009 article about why it's uncouth to wear white after this holiday.
- Category: FAUX PAS
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Jan. 4, 2018

Answer #4: What is Labor Day?

Not wearing white after Labor Day is a dated tradition emanating from elitists. However, Labor Day remains one of the last times northeast beachgoers can wear bathing suits, as the holiday signals the unofficial end of summer.

Clue #5

- Clue: The first of these Sundays was Jan. 15, 1967; the XXXIIIrd was Jan. 31, 1999.
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: June 25, 1999

Answer #5: What is Super Bowl Sunday?

Long considered an "unofficial holiday," Super Bowl Sunday has become a day for huge parties, as crowds gather to watch the NFL crown its champion. Some have called for the day after the Super Bowl to become an official holiday (large amounts of alcohol consumed may be part of the reasoning). Day off or not, over 100 million Americans are bound to discuss the big game on the Monday following the Super Bowl.

Clue #6

- Clue: The 1929 massacre of seven of Bugs Moran's guys: this day.
- Category: CRIME TIME
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Nov. 27, 2017

Answer #6: What is Valentine's Day?

Members of a gang helmed by Al Capone are suspected of having carried out the execution of Moran's North Side Gang members, in what became known as the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre." World Wrestling Entertainment once held an event with the same name, but Valentine's Day is generally associated with love, chocolates, and cheesy cards.

Clue #7

- Clue: Commemorating an event from 1777, June 14 is this holiday.
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: June 1, 2020

Answer #7: What is Flag Day?

Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Flag Day a holiday in 1916, although congressional legislation made it official in 1949. A Wisconsin school teacher is often credited with the idea of creating a Flag Day holiday, way back in 1885.

Clue #8

- Clue: You've gotta "love" the Christmas Eve scene in this movie where Andrew Lincoln declares his love to Keira Knightley.
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: Dec. 24, 2018

Answer #8: What is 'Love, Actually'?

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, and Hugh Grant are just a few of the stars in this ensemble romantic comedy that has become a holiday favorite. In 2017, much of the cast reunited for a short film to celebrate Red Nose Day, which has become a popular British holiday that raises funds for underserved communities. Besides snuggling up near a fireplace on watching a holiday film, other cultures celebrate Christmas Eve by lighting fireworks or performing comedy sketches in costume.

Clue #9

- Clue: A holiday in Puerto Rico commemorating the visit of the Magi isn't Three Magi Day but Three this Day.
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: April 28, 2017

Answer #9: What is Kings?

Three Kings Day celebrates when the three wise men visited baby Jesus on the Feast of the Epiphany. The holiday is widely followed in Latin America, where kids place their shoes outside to receive gifts.

Clue #10

- Clue: In 1999, New Hampshire was the last state to make this January event a paid state holiday.
- Category: HOLIDAYS
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: May 6, 2016

Answer #10: What is Martin Luther King Day?

Celebrated on the third Monday of January, MLK Day honors one of the civil rights movement's most important leaders. In 1968, legislation was introduced to honor King's birthday of Jan. 15 as a federal holiday, and support grew throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington D.C. is a popular site on MLK Day.

Clue #11

- Clue: Tree City USA is a designation presented to qualifying cities from a foundation devoted to this holiday.
- Category: EVERY YEAR
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: July 22, 2014

Answer #11: What is Arbor Day?

Arbor Day's roots begin in Nebraska, back in 1872. Now, Australia, Bulgaria, South Korea, and South Africa are among the dozens of countries that celebrate Arbor Day, albeit on different dates.

Clue #12

- Clue: Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and this weekday named for a certain way to shop.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Oct. 14, 2020

Answer #12: What is Cyber Monday?

CNET says that Cyber Monday began in 2005, as more consumers began gravitating to online shopping. Because of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, many retailers are advertising the kind of deals you'd find on Black Friday and Cyber Monday throughout November.

Clue #13

- Clue: In "Groundhog Day," Bill Murray has this job; that's why he comes to see the groundhog.
- Category: MASTER CARD
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: May 27, 2014

Answer #13: What is a weatherman?

"Groundhog Day" was released in theaters in 1993, but the first American Groundhog Day holiday was in 1887. The holiday has European origins but is most popular for events in Pennsylvania. Legend claims that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter ensue.

Clue #14

- Clue: This religious observance is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.
- Category: ABOUT TIME
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Jan. 29, 2015

Answer #14: What is Easter?

In religious circles, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, but the holiday has evolved into a kid-centric celebration in many areas. The Easter bunny has Pagan ancestry, while egg decorating was a pastime of Ancient Greeks and Persians.

Clue #15

- Clue: "Put on your yarmulke. It's time for Chanukah" is a line from his "Chanukah Song."
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Dec. 17, 1999

Answer #15: Who is Adam Sandler?

Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song" led to three follow-up versions, but the original is best known for its references to Ebenezer Scrooge, Rod Carew, and Tom Cruise's agent. In 2002, Sandler created an animated film about Chanukah, titled "Eight Crazy Nights."

Clue #16

- Clue: Bastille Day, Parents' Day, and Nelson Mandela Day are all observed during this month.
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: June 1, 2020

Answer #16: What is July?

Bastille Day is a French national holiday, celebrating the storming of the Bastille fortress in the opening moments of the French Revolution. Parents' Day is every fourth Sunday in July, and Nelson Mandela Day honors the birthday of the South African politician and civil rights advocate.

Clue #17

- Clue: The Asian Lunar New Year also has this palindromic three-letter name.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: June 21, 2018

Answer #17: What is Tet?

Tet is the name for the Lunar New Year in Vietnam, and much like other celebrations, is steeped in family time, hearty meals, and parades. In New York, an annual New Year parade in Chinatown draws revelers from around the country, as dancers, dragons, and bands enliven the neighborhood's historic streets. In South Korea, Lunar New Year is a time of mass travel, similar to Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States.

Clue #18

- Clue: In 1966, Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana studies, gave the world this celebration.
- Category: ON BOXING DAY
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Dec. 26, 2017

Answer #18: What is Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa is modeled after African harvest celebrations—the name of the holiday is Swahili for "first fruits." Red, black, and green, and the number seven are important symbols of the holiday, which begins on Dec. 26.

Clue #19

- Clue: If Dec. 26 falls on a weekend, the public observance of this event in Britain takes place on the following Monday.
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: Oct. 11, 2017

Answer #19: What is Boxing Day?

Another Dec. 26 holiday, Boxing Day, is celebrated throughout Great Britain and Canada. A noted shopping holiday, Boxing Day is also known in sporting circles for its annual slate of Premier League football (soccer) matches.

Clue #20

- Clue: The month of Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr, meaning the breaking of this.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: March 21, 2016

Answer #20: What is the fast?

Eid al-Fitr normally lasts three days and includes prayers, family gatherings, and gifts to children. Various desserts are commonly served at feasts, including cakes and puddings.

Clue #21

- Clue: June 19: It's this portmanteau holiday also called Emancipation Day.
- Value: $1600
- Date episode aired: May 2, 2019

Answer #21: What is Juneteenth?

On June 19, 1865, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, discovered they were free. Last summer, amid a series of violent attacks against unarmed Black citizens, Juneteenth rose in awareness throughout America. For decades, though, Black Americans have celebrated the holiday with parades, feasts, and calls for social justice.

Clue #22

- Clue: On July 1, our neighbor to the north celebrates this national holiday.
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: July 15, 2013

Answer #22: What is Canada Day?

Much like America's Independence Day three days later, Canada Day is full of parades and fireworks throughout the Great White North. July 1 is also a prominent day for immigrants to become Canadian citizens.

Clue #23

- Clue: May Day grew out of a festival that celebrated this Roman goddess of flowers and spring.
- Category: SHE'S A GODDESS!
- Value: $1600
- Date episode aired: March 10, 2020

Answer #23: Who is Flora?

In Ancient Roman times, the Festival of Flora lasted about six days, honoring the goddess of fertility, flowers, and spring. Maypole dancers and the crowning of a May queen are tentpoles of May Day festivals. May Day is also a term for International Labor Day, which is prominent in Russia.

Clue #24

- Clue: This eight-day observance celebrates the liberation of Jews from Egyptian bondage.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: July 3, 1997

Answer #24: What is Passover?

During Passover, observant Jews don't eat leavened bread but choose to eat matzoh. During seder dinners, children search for the afikomen, a piece of matzoh, which if found, can be exchanged for money or prizes.

Clue #25

- Clue: In southern Asia, this "Festival of Lights" is celebrated by Jains, Sikhs, and Hindus alike.
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: March 6, 2018

Answer #25: What is Diwali?

The lights of Diwali symbolize a triumph over evil and darkness. Temple visits and large family meals are staples of Diwali, while streets and shops are decorated with oil lamps called diyas. Many families clean their homes in anticipation of a visit from Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.


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