A Christmas cracker is a party favour given out at Christmas in the United Kingdom, as well as in other Commonwealth countries like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Crackers consist of a cardboard tube wrapped in festive paper that is twisted at either end like a sweet wrapper. Inside of the tube are prizes, and, in order to get them out, two people each hold one end of the cracker and pull it apart. The split is accompanied by a bang (from which the name cracker is derived).[1]

Muggle vs. Wizard Crackers

Muggle crackers contain several items — typically a paper hat, a plastic toy, and a slip of paper with a joke printed on it — and produce a small bang because a thin strip of chemically-infused cardboard is torn in half when the cracker is pulled apart.[1]

Wizard Crackers, in contrast, go off with a bang as loud as a cannon blast, enveloping everyone nearby in a cloud of blue smoke. They contain the same hat, gift, and joke as the Muggle variety, but the hats are real and the gifts are extremely unique, even peculiar.[2]


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Christmas cracker" at Wikipedia
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
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