Quiz on festivals

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 28, 2016


In keeping with the season, we have a quiz on festivals around the world.

1 If the Irving Thalberg award has been presented during the Oscars since 1937, which festival honoured actor Jimmy Stewart with the first Frank Capra awards in 1978?

2 In 1976, which famous star’s rendition replaced Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s iconic Mahalaya programme in the lead-up to the Durga Puja festival? (It didn’t go down well and All India Radio went back to Bhadra’s version the following year).

3 Since 2014 it has been Wilson Neto. Neto was preceded by Milton Rodriguez, Alex De Oliveira and Marcus de Jesus Reis. What duty have these tall and burly gentlemen performed, which for a few days makes them the cynosure of millions of viewers around the world?

4 Which festival, which literally translated means ‘Fat Tuesday,’ also shares its name with a Creedence Clearwater Revival album and a well-known Indian college festival of the 1970s and ’80s?

5 The Il Palio is a bareback horse race run around the Piazza del Campo at a famous festival every year. In which specific town is the Il Palio run? Hint: it helps to know the models of Fiat cars.

6 Which annual festival is famous for its ‘mutant vehicles’: motor vehicles that have been modified beyond all recognition into strange shapes like a praying mantis or a shark, and has a Department of Mutant Vehicles that approves designs before they are allowed to participate in the festival?

7 What resulted when eight theatre companies turned up uninvited to an international festival in a British city in 1947, and decided to stay around and perform anyway?

8 The towns of Barsana and Nandgaon celebrate a well-known Indian festival in their own unique way. The men from Nandgaon visit Barsana only to be greeted with sticks thrown by the women of the town, who also try and catch the men and dress them in female clothing. What is this festival called?

9 What started in reaction to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York on June 27, 1969, and attracts more than 500,000 people in Chicago on the last Sunday of June every year?

10 In what way is the harvest festival of Makar Sankranti unique among India’s many Hindu festivals?


1.The Sundance Film Festival in Utah, now regarded as one of the premier film festivals for independent filmmakers

2. Uttam Kumar, Bengal’s most famous film actor at the time

3. They have all been ceremonial King Momos, who traditionally lead the Rio Carnival, one of the biggest festivals in the world

4. Mardi Gras, traditionally celebrated in New Orleans. The annual IIT Madras festival was formerly known as Mardi Gras

5. The town of Siena. In India, the sedan version of the Fiat Palio was known as the Siena

6. The Burning Man festival, which was also featured in the first-ever Google doodle

7. The Edinburgh Fringe festival. The term was coined by Scottish playwright Robert Kemp. There are still no official invitations to perform

8. The Lath Mar Holi, literally ‘hit with sticks’ Holi

9. The Chicago Gay Pride parade, held since 1970 and now attended by over a million people each year

10. It is the only major festival celebrated according to the solar calendar and is, therefore, always celebrated on the 14th and 15th of January. All others follow the lunar calendar and have different dates each year

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup

Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

Published on October 28, 2016
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