1. Which month is named after the Roman god of beginnings and transitions?
2. This day became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The phrase was made famous by William Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar, being uttered by the soothsayer warning Caesar not to go to the Senate. What phrase?
3. This character appears in Alice in Wonderland. Alice feels that the _____ ____ will be the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won’t be raving mad – at least not so mad as it was in _____.” The character is based on a proverb about a popular belief about a particular animal’s behaviour at the beginning of the long breeding season. Name the character or the phrase?
4. This important event in world history occurred in Russia in 1917 and marked the beginning of the end of the Russian monarchy and the rise of communism and the Soviet Union. The seizure of state power by the Boolsheviks took place with an armed insurrection in St Petersburg and was traditionally dated to 25th of that month (by the Old Style calendar) but corresponds to 7th November 1917 (in the New Style calendar). This gives rise to the name of the revolution. What is its name?
5. (a) Quintilus was a month in the ancient Roman calendar and one of the months with 31 days. It was renamed by the Roman Senate after a famous general as it was his month of birth.
(b) Sextilis, the month that followed, was named after another Roman general and emperor as it was the time of several of his great triumphs, including the conquest of Egypt.
6. This day, in the late 19th century, was chosen as the date for International Workers’ Day by the Socialists and Communists of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago.
7. This day is associated with playing harmless pranks and merriment.
8. What is the common name for the little brown beetles famous for their incessant bumping into porch lights and houses on late spring to summer evenings?
9. 2012 was a leap year. Leap implies that something is being skipped over, but a leap year has an extra day, making it longer than an ordinary year, not shorter. Where is the metaphorical leap in ‘leap year’?
10. Remember, remember!/ The ___ __ ________/ Gunpowder, treason and plot/ I know of no reason/ Why the gunpowder treason/ Should ever be forgot! These are the opening lines of a popular English folk verse. It refers to the unsuccessful plot to blow up the House of Lords in London in 1605 by conspirators led by Guy Fawkes. A successful replay of this plot forms the climax in V for Vendetta and the mask worn for anonymity in that film is a representation of Guy Fawkes. Which day is this?
11. Gowalia Tank Maidan is a park in central Mumbai where Mahatma Gandhi issued the Quit India speech in 1942 decreeing that the British must leave India immediately or else mass agitations would take place. What is the new name of this park in light of that momentous event?
12. ‘A’ wears red and has a ponytail, ‘M’ wears blue and sports a headband, while ‘J’ wears yellow or green and has two pigtails. Who are these nieces of Daisy Duck and arch rivals of Donald Duck's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie?
13. It is the second largest city in the American continent’s only Portuguese speaking nation. It was so named because Portuguese explorers encountered Guanabara Bay on 1st January 1500. Which city is this?
14. The Munich Massacre was an attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, on 11 Israeli Olympic team members who were taken hostage and killed by which Palestinian extremist group?
15. Fans of the Star Wars films celebrate which day as Star Wars Day, in a joking reference to a phrase used to wish luck?
1. January (after Janus)
2. The Ideas of March
3. March Hare. The proverb is As mad as a March hare.
4. October Revolution
5. July (after Julius Caesar), and August (after Augustus Caesar)
6. May Day (May 1st)
7. April Fool’s Day
8. June Bug
9. The extra day in a leap year causes calendar dates to move ahead by two weekdays rather than one. Thus, 2011’s Christmas fell on Sunday, but the Christmas of 2012 took place on Tuesday, not Monday. It is that ‘leaping over’ a day of the week that gives the leap year, and hence also the leap day, 29 February.
10. Guy Fawkes Day, 5th of November
11. August Kranti Maidan (Gandhiji’s speech here was on August 8th 1942)
12. April, May and June
13. Rio de Janeiro (meaning January’s River)
14. Black September
15. May 4th (‘May the fourth be with you’ is a humorous rendering of ‘May the Force be with you’!)