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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 in 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 Dursley's. 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.

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.

Christmas feast at Hogwarts

Christmas feast

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.

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 once again, Harry, Ron, and Hermione stayed at Hogwarts for the holidays. Harry received another anonymous gift, his Firebolt (from Sirius Black).

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 healed 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:

Between 1985-1990

1991

Christmas1

Christmas in 1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

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Christmas at Grimmauld Place in 1995

1996

GodricHollow

Behind the scenes

Appearances

See also

External links