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"Christmas was coming. One morning in mid-December, Hogwarts woke to find itself covered in several feet of snow. The lake froze solid and the Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban. The few owls that managed to battle their way through the stormy sky to deliver mail had to be nursed back to health by Hagrid before they could fly off again."
— Wintertime at Hogwarts[src]

Christmas season in the wizarding world, 19911996

Christmas is a primarily Christian holiday celebrated on 25 December in most countries (including Great Britain). The holiday ostensibly celebrates the birth of the Christian saviour, Jesus of Nazareth, though many people who follow other religions or who possess a secular disposition nevertheless celebrate the holiday. The most famous tradition of Christmas is that Father Christmas flies around the world on a reindeer-pulled sleigh to deliver presents to all the good children of the world.[1]

Students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry went on a few weeks' holidays for the Christmas season — though some students (such as Harry Potter), chose to stay at Hogwarts. Harry enjoyed staying at Hogwarts over Christmas, as the alternative was going back to the Dursleys.[2] Christmas was often marked by a feast of some type. Eggnog was often served on or around Christmas-time.

Christmas at Hogwarts

"Harry had never in all his life had such a Christmas dinner. A hundred fat, roast turkeys; mountains of roast and boiled potatoes; platters of chipolatas; tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce — and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table... Harry pulled a wizard cracker with Fred and it didn't just bang, it went off with a blast like a cannon and engulfed them all in a cloud of blue smoke, while from the inside exploded a rear admiral's hat and several live, white mice."
— Description of the Christmas feast[src]

For those who stayed at Hogwarts for the Christmas holidays, enchantment and extravagance awaited. Harry Potter had fond memories of spending Christmas at Hogwarts, since he never had any fun with the Dursleys.[2] When he and Hermione visited Godric's Hollow in December 1997, the carols coming from the church reminded him of “Peeves bellowing rude versions of carols from inside suits of armour, of the Great Hall’s twelve Christmas trees, of Dumbledore wearing a bonnet he had won in a cracker, of Ron in a hand-knitted sweater”.[3]

Professor McGonagall took a list of students who wished to stay for the Christmas holidays during the second week of December. Their presents were piled at the foot of their beds in their dormitories for them to find when they wake up on Christmas morning.[2]

Christmas feast

Twelve large decorated fir trees, mistletoe, and holly were among the decorations that Hagrid and the professors help put in the Great Hall for the Christmas holidays. Snow fell from the ceiling of the Great Hall, but unlike real snow this snow was dry and warm. Around the castle, suits of armour were also enchanted to sing carols.[2]

The Christmas feast featured roast turkey, potatoes, chipolatas, peas, gravy, cranberry sauce, and "flaming Christmas puddings". The staff might also enjoy wine with their meal. Wizard Crackers exploded loudly and contained more impressive favours than their Muggle counterparts, such as proper hats and bonnets, live mice, and Wizard's Chess sets.[2]


"The night's entertainment concluded with a packed hospital wing..."
Albus Dumbledore[src]


At some point prior to the 1970s, Herbert Beery proposed an adaptation of The Fountain of Fair Fortune as a Christmas treat for both staff and students. The show, however, was a fiasco: the students playing Amata and Sir Luckless had been boyfriend and girlfriend until one hour before the show, at which point "Sir Luckless" dumped her for "Asha". During the play, the Engorged Ashwinder portraying the Worm exploded, scattering rubble and setting fire to the floorboards. While "Amata" and "Asha" started duelling fiercely, Professor Beery was caught in the crossfire and his head assumed unusual proportions.

While the staff evacuated the Great Hall the fire raging inside it threatened to engulf the place. Of course, there were several people sent to the Hospital Wing and Professor Armando Dippet had to put Professor Silvanus Kettleburn in one of his sixty-two periods of probation. In response to this dramatic fiasco, Professor Dippet imposed a blanket ban on future pantomimes.[4]


"The Great Hall looked magnificent. Not only were there a dozen frost covered Christmas trees and thick streamers of holly and mistletoe crisscrossing the ceiling, but enchanted snow was falling, warm and dry, from the ceiling. Dumbledore led them in a few of his favourite carols, Hagrid booming more and more loudly with every goblet of eggnog he consumed. Percy, who hadn't noticed that Fred had bewitched his prefect badge so that it now read 'Pinhead', kept asking them all what they were sniggering at."
— Christmas at Hogwarts in 1992[src]

Harry Potter and the Weasleys (Ron, Fred, George and Percy) were among the students to stay for the holidays in 1991. Among Harry's gifts that year was his father's Invisibility Cloak,[2] given to him anonymously by Albus Dumbledore.[5]

Christmas in 1992

In 1992, when Harry and Ron were spared from expulsion by Headmaster Dumbledore for using the Flying Ford Anglia to reach Hogwarts, Professor Snape's expression was described to be as though Christmas had been cancelled.[6] December that year, Harry, Ron, and Hermione Granger stayed at Hogwarts so they could question Draco Malfoy to determine if he was the Heir of Slytherin by disguising themselves as Slytherins with Polyjuice Potion.[7]

In 1993, Harry, Ron, and Hermione once again stayed at Hogwarts for the holidays. Harry received another anonymous gift, his Firebolt[8] (it was eventually revealed to have come from Sirius Black, his godfather).[9]

During the 1994–1995 school year, Hogwarts held the Yule Ball during the Christmas holidays as part of the Triwizard Tournament. As a result, more students than usual stayed at Hogwarts for the holidays. The Great Hall was decorated differently than usual for the occasion, with walls covered in silver frost and garlands of mistletoe and ivy.[10]

A typical Christmas with the Weasley family

In 1995, Dobby took it upon himself to decorate the Room of Requirement, the classroom of Dumbledore's Army with mistletoe and one hundred golden ornaments bearing Harry’s face and the words “HAVE A VERY HARRY CHRISTMAS!". Dobby decorated sometime before the D.A. had their last meeting of term on the evening of Wednesday, 18 December.[11] In fifth year, Harry intended to go to the Burrow, but spent Christmas at Grimmauld Place. Harry also visited Arthur at St Mungo's while he healed from Nagini's attack.[11][12][13]

In 1996, before the Christmas holidays officially began, Professor Slughorn threw a Christmas party for members of the Slug Club and their guests.[14] To the dismay of Romilda Vane and other admirers of the Chosen One, Harry attended the party with Luna Lovegood. Hermione brought Cormac McLaggen to annoy Ron. Also in attendance was a vampire, sundry notables “collected” by Slughorn, Professor Snape, Professor Trelawney, and a wait staff of House Elves.[14]

Slug Club Christmas party in 1996

Hermione left Cormac under the mistletoe, and kept avoiding him. Harry excused himself from a conversation with a man who would have liked to write his biography, but soon ended up talking to a drunk and bitter Trelawney.[14] Slughorn praised Harry’s potion skills and Snape was suspicious. The awkward party interactions went on for a while, then Filch (with Draco in tow) disrupted the party and explained that Draco claimed to have been invited to the party.[14] Draco then admitted that he wasn’t invited. Slughorn favoured leniency and said Draco could stay, but Snape took Draco out of Slughorn’s abnormally large and decorated office. Harry put on his Invisibility Cloak and followed them.[14]

In sixth year, Harry spent Christmas at The Burrow with the Weasleys, Fleur Delacour, and Remus Lupin.[15] Since Harry, Ron and Hermione did not return to Hogwarts for their seventh year (as they hunting Tom Riddle's Horcruxes instead), he and Hermione spent Christmas Eve in Godric's Hollow,[3] while Ron spent Christmas with Bill and Fleur at Shell Cottage.[16]


In 2020, when Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy were found using the "True" Time-Turner in a disastrous attempt to bring Cedric Diggory back to life, Professor McGonagall punished them in lieu of expulsion, by a multitude of detention and complete removal of their privileges and holidays, Christmas included.[17]

Christmas holidays

Main article: Christmas holidays
"It was true that Harry wasn't going back to Privet Drive for Christmas. Professor McGonagall had come around the week before, making a list of students who would be staying for the holidays, and Harry had signed up at once."
— Students have the option of staying at Hogwarts for Christmas holidays[src]

Harry Potter choosing to spend his Christmas at Hogwarts in 1991

The students could choose to stay at Hogwarts Castle or return home for the holidays, which began shortly before Christmas Day and end sometime after New Year's Day. A professor generally went among the students making a list of those who wanted to stay for the winter holidays.[2]

A notable occasion upon which a majority of students stayed at Hogwarts for Christmas was in 1994, when Hogwarts hosted the Triwizard Tournament and the Yule Ball held on Christmas Day.[10] On Harry Potter's first Christmas at Hogwarts in 1991, it had been by far the best Christmas he had ever had.[2]

Christmas presents

Harry Potter: "Will you look at this? I've got some presents!"
Ron Weasley: "What did you expect, turnips?"
— Harry receives proper presents for the first time[src]

These are the presents that some people were known to have received:

Year Recipient Notes
1980s Jacob's sibling A photo of their friends[18]
Bill's old winter outfit from Molly Weasley[18]
A pair of socks from Charlie Weasley[18]
Arthur Weasley A toaster from Bill, Charlie and Jacob's sibling[18]
Charles Weasley A Sugar Quill from Jacob's sibling[18]
A Dungbomb from Bilton Bilmes[18]
Molly Weasley Wool from Bill, Charlie and Jacob's sibling[19]
1985-1990 Dudley Dursley A computerised robot from Marjorie Dursley[20]
Harry Potter A box of dog biscuits from Marjorie Dursley[20]
1991 A roughly cut wooden flute from Rubeus Hagrid[2]
A fifty-pence piece from the Dursleys[2]
An emerald green jumper and a box of homemade fudge from Mrs Weasley[2]
A box of Chocolate Frogs from Hermione Granger[2]
his father's Invisibility cloak from Albus Dumbledore (anonymously)[2][5]
Ron Weasley A maroon jumper from his mother[2]
A box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans from Hermione Granger[2]
Fred Weasley A blue jumper with a yellow "F" on the front from his mother[2]
George Weasley A blue jumper with a yellow "G" on the front from his mother[2]
Percy Weasley A red jumper with a yellow "P" on the front from his mother[2]
1992 Harry Potter A toothpick from the Dursleys[7]
A tin of treacle fudge from Hagrid, Flying with the Cannons from Ron[7]
A luxury eagle-feather quill from Hermione[7]
A jumper and a plum cake from Molly Weasley[7]
1993 A scarlet jumper with the Gryffindor lion on the front[8]
Some Christmas cake, a dozen mince pies and a box of nut brittle from Molly Weasley[8]
A Firebolt from Sirius Black (anonymously)[8][9]
Ron Weasley Another maroon jumper and a pair of maroon socks from his mother[8]
1994 Harry Potter A red left sock with broomstick pattern and green right sock with Snitch pattern from Dobby[10]
A single tissue from the Dursleys[10]
Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland from Hermione[10]
A bag of Dungbombs from Ron[10]
A magical penknife from Sirius Black[10]
A large box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs and Fizzing Whizzbees from Hagrid[10]
A green jumper with a Hungarian Horntail dragon on the front (in commemoration of the first task of the Triwizard Tournament) and several mince pies from Molly Weasley[10]
Ron Weasley A Chudley Cannons hat from Harry[10]
A pair of violet socks and a jumper from his mother (both of which were given to Dobby)[10]
After paying ten Galleons for a pair of Omnioculars to give Ron at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, Harry had jokingly told him that he wasn't getting a Christmas present for ten years[10]
Dobby An old pair of mustard yellow socks from Harry Potter[10]
A pair of violet socks and a jumper from Ron Weasley[10]
1995 Harry Potter A homework planner from Hermione[13]
Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts from Sirius Black and Remus Lupin[13]
A furry brown wallet with fangs from Hagrid[13]
A small working model of a Firebolt from Nymphadora Tonks[13]
A large box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans from Ron[13]
A jumper and some mince pies from Molly Weasley[13]
A painting of himself from Dobby[13]
Ron Weasley A Broom Compass from Harry[13]
A homework planner from Hermione[13]
Hermione Granger New Theory of Numerology from Harry[13]
An "unusual" perfume from Ron[13]
Percy Weasley A jumper from his mother (which he sent back, unopened)[13]
Kreacher A patchwork quilt from Hermione[13]
Arthur Weasley Fuse-wire and screwdrivers from Harry[13]
1996 Harry Potter A jumper with a Golden Snitch on the front from Molly Weasley[15]
A large box of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products from Fred and George[15]
A bag of maggots from Kreacher[15]
Ron Weasley A Sweetheart necklace from Lavender Brown[15]
Molly Weasley A midnight blue witch's hat and a golden necklace from Fred and George[15]

See also

Behind the scenes

"I have always enjoyed a quiet Christmas Eve with a nice snowfall- the only time I enjoy snow is on Christmas"
— Snape on what he enjoys on Christmas[src]
  • In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, during Jacob's sibling research on what Weasley family might like on Christmas as a present, the student interviewed Professor Snape and he reveled that he likes a quiet snowfall on the Christmas Eve.

External links


Notes and references

  1. WP favicon.PNG Christmas on Wikipedia
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
  4. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "The Fountain of Fair Fortune"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 5 (The Whomping Willow)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 12 (The Polyjuice Potion)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 11 (The Firebolt)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 22 (Owl Post Again)
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 21 (The Eye of the Snake)
  12. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22 (St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 (Christmas on the Closed Ward)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 (The Silver Doe)
  17. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, "THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE" Achievement - Part 2, Side Quest "Snow Much Fun"
  19. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, Side Quest "A Very Weasley Christmas"
  20. 20.0 20.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 2 (Aunt Marge's Big Mistake)