Christmas at the Wizarding World

Christmas season in the Wizarding world, 19911996

"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 is a primarily Christian holiday celebrated on 25 December in most countries (including the United Kingdom). 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.

Students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry go on a few weeks' holidays for the Christmas season — though some students (such as Harry Potter), choose to stay at Hogwarts. Harry generally liked to stay at Hogwarts, as the alternative was going back to the Dursleys. Christmas is often marked by a feast of some type. Eggnog is 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 stay at Hogwarts for the Christmas holidays, enchantment and extravagance await. Harry has fond memories of spending Christmas at Hogwarts, since he never had any fun with the Dursleys. When he and Hermione visit Godric’s Hollow , the carols coming from the church remind 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”.

Professor McGonagall takes a list of students who wish to stay for the Christmas holidays during the second week of December. Their presents are piled at the foot of their beds for them to find when they wake up on Christmas morning.

Christmas feast at Hogwarts

Christmas feast

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

The Christmas feast features roast turkey, potatoes, chipolatas, peas, gravy, cranberry sauce, and “flaming Christmas puddings”. The staff may also enjoy wine with their meal. Wizarding crackers explode loudly and contain nicer favours than their Muggle counterparts, such as proper hats and bonnets, live mice, and wizard chess sets.

Recent events

"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.[1]

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

In 1992 Harry, Ron, and Hermione stayed at Hogwarts so they could question Draco Malfoy to determine if he were the Heir of Slytherin via Polyjuice Potion.

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

Father Christmas

A typical Christmas with the Weasley family

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.

Dobby takes it upon himself to decorate the D.A. classroom 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.

In 1996, before the Christmas holidays officially began, Professor Slughorn threw a Christmas party for members of the Slug Club and their guests.

Harry does not spend Christmas at Hogwarts during his fifth, sixth, or what would have been his seventh year. In fifth year, he intends to go to the Burrow but spends Christmas at Grimmauld Place and in St Mungo's visiting Arthur as he heals from Nagini's attack. In sixth year, Harry spends Christmas at The Burrow with the Weasleys, Fleur, and Remus. Since Harry did not return to Hogwarts for his seventh year, he and Hermione spend Christmas Eve in Godric's Hollow, while Ron spends Christmas with Bill and Fleur at Shell Cottage.

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 alone at the fireplace (Christmas 1991)

Harry Potter choosing to spend his Christmas at Hogwarts in 1991

The students can choose to stay at Hogwarts Castle or return home for the holidays, which begin shortly before Christmas Day and end sometime after New Year's Day. A professor generally goes among the students making a list of those who want to stay for the winter holidays.

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. On Harry Potter's first Christmas at Hogwarts, it had been by far the best Christmas he had ever had.

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
Bill's old winter outfit from Molly Weasley
Arthur Weasley a toaster from Bill, Charlie and Jacob's sibling
Molly Weasley wool from Bill, Charlie and Jacob's sibling
1985-1990 Dudley Dursley a computerised robot from Aunt Marge
Harry Potter a box of dog biscuits from Aunt Marge
1991 a roughly cut wooden flute from Hagrid
a fifty-pence piece from the Dursleys
an emerald green jumper and a box of homemade fudge from Mrs Weasley
a box of Chocolate Frogs from Hermione
his father's Invisibility cloak from Albus Dumbledore (anonymously)
Ron Weasley a maroon jumper from his mother
a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans from Hermione
Fred Weasley a blue jumper with a yellow "F" on the front from his mother
George Weasley a blue jumper with a yellow "G" on the front from his mother.
Percy Weasley a red jumper with a yellow "P" on the front from his mother.
1992 Harry Potter a toothpick from the Dursleys
a tin of treacle fudge from Hagrid, Flying with the Cannons from Ron
a luxury eagle-feather quill from Hermione
and a jumper and a plum cake from Mrs Weasley
1993 Harry Potter a scarlet jumper with the Gryffindor lion on the front
some Christmas cake, a dozen mince pies and a box of nut brittle from Mrs Weasley,
a Firebolt from Sirius Black (anonymously)
Ron Weasley another maroon jumper and a pair of maroon socks from his mother
1994 Harry Potter a red left sock with broomstick pattern and green right sock with Snitch pattern from Dobby
a single tissue from the Dursleys
Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland from Hermione
a bag of Dungbombs from Ron
a magical penknife from Sirius Black
a large box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans
Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs and Fizzing Whizbees from Hagrid
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 Mrs Weasley
Ron Weasley a Chudley Cannons hat from Harry
a pair of violet socks and a jumper from his mother (both of which were given to Dobby).
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.
Dobby an old pair of mustard yellow socks from Harry Potter
a pair of violet socks and a jumper from Ron Weasley
1995 Harry Potter a homework planner from Hermione
Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts from Sirius Black and Remus Lupin
a furry brown wallet with fangs from Hagrid
a small working model of a Firebolt from Nymphadora Tonks
a large box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans from Ron
a jumper and some mince pies from Mrs Weasley
painting of himself from Dobby
Ron Weasley a Broom Compass from Harry
and a homework planner from Hermione
Hermione Granger New Theory of Numerology from Harry
an "unusual" perfume from Ron
Percy Weasley a jumper from his mother (which he sent back, unopened)
Kreacher a patchwork quilt from Hermione
Arthur Weasley fuse-wire and screwdrivers from Harry
1996 Harry Potter a jumper with a Golden Snitch on the front from Mrs Weasley
a large box of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products from Fred and George
bag of maggots from Kreacher
Ron Weasley a Sweetheart necklace from Lavender Brown
Molly Weasley a midnight blue witch's hat and a golden necklace from Fred and George

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump"

See also

External links

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