What are the names of Santa’s Reindeer? (and other Holiday Q&A)

xmastreeIf our traffic reports are any indication, you are excited about the holidays. Questions about Santa, Christmas trees and Advent are some of our most popular this month. Here are the holiday questions you’re searching for and clicking on most this season:

And just for fun, here’s one that made us laugh: What is Grinch Mean Time?

Happy holidays from the Answers.com team!

5 fascinating facts about the Chinese New Year.

Happy new year! Sure, it’s February, but we’re not talking about the Gregorian new year. Today marks the first day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. So pull up a chair to the reunion dinner, have some Niangao, open a red envelope, dance with a dragon and read on for more fascinating facts about celebrating this new year festival.

  1. Party like it’s 15 days! And you thought the week between Christmas and New Years is long. This  new year festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar, and ends with the Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day.
  2. Think traveling the week of Thanksgiving is tough? The largest human migration happens during the month around Chinese New Year due to the travel of migrant workers in China and Chinese ex-pats around the world arriving home for the traditional reunion family dinners on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Did you know? There are more intercity trips taken inside mainland China for this celebration than the total population of China itself.
  3. Spring cleaning come early. Days before the celebration begins, Chinese families give their homes a deep clean. The belief is that the cleaning helps sweep away any bad luck from the outgoing year, making homes ready for the new year’s good luck. But it’s not all work and no play: brooms are shoved aside on the first new year’s day so as not to sweep away incoming good luck.
  4. When else could you dance with a lion? Dragon and lion dances are a fun, colorful feature for the Chinese New Year. Loud drum beats and cymbals, together with the faces of the dragon or lion dancing, rid us of the evil spirits. Fun fact: Lion dances are also a popular activity for business openings in Hong Kong.
  5. It’s not just China. Wherever a sizable Chinese population can be found, so can Chinese New Year. That includes Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and others in the region. In addition, although it’s not an official holiday there, many ethnic Chinese hold large celebrations in Australia, Canada and the United States. Even the mail gets into it: the Australia Post, Canada Post, and the US Postal Service all issue New Year’s themed stamps.

Read more fascinating facts about the Chinese New Year on Answers.com. Check out the Answer of the Day for more Chinese New Year trivia: Do the Japanese and Chinese have the same zodiacal calendar?

Tell us: If you had a bazillion dollars…

It’s holiday season! And, sure, the holidays are all about giving, but what about getting? Shouldn’t we take five minutes and think about what we’d do, if say, we all of a sudden found ourselves with a bazillion dollars?

So here is Answers.com‘s question to you: If you had a bazillion dollars, what would you do first? Obviously, you’d do a whole lot, but what would be the first thing you’d do with the money…

[poll id="7"]

Don’t forgot to fill in your choices in the comments… Looking forward to hearing some creative ideas (with fake money).

[Thanks, Suzanne!]

Night of the Radishes?! Now you know.

Last week, while I was in New York attending BookExpo America on behalf of the Answers.com Content Team, our content integrators published a slew of new content on our site. I should go away more often.

Festivals and Special Events: every celebration, commemoration, feast day or fast day that’s important to any culture around the world – be the event holy or profane, solemn or kooky – all the relevant info is in here. Learn about the Dog Days, the Night of the Radishes, the National Manly Man Festival and Spam Cook-off, or the Tanabata (Star Festival).

In a related development, we also went live with a collection of “When is?” questions. For every one of the special days and events in the group mentioned above, we have an entry that asks and answers the question, “When is ?” E.g., When is Purim, When is Kentucky Derby?

Need a new set of wheels? Avail yourself of the professional expertise in our new Car Reviews and see what car writers have to say about the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche, the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid, and my own next car (heh heh), the 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Are you wondering: Is anyone keeping track of the asteroids and comets that come close to the Earth? Need to know what was the deepest oil well ever drilled? Curious about how dolphins are similar to humans, or what the newest Hawaiian island is? You can find the answers to these and hundreds of others questions in Geology Q&A and Oceans Q&A. Don’t forget to watch out for the black smokers.

We aim to answer. Happy reading.

Mike 2: The 12 Wiki Days of Christmas

As promised, here’s the second of Mike 2’s trio of poems this holiday. This is his own “wiki” take on an old standby…

[If you would like your original poetry profiled on this blog, please e-mail it to poetry @ wikianswers.com (no spaces) and include your WikiAnswers username!]

The 12 Wiki Days of Christmas, by Mike 2

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A question from the wiki category

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Two trust points and a question from the wiki category

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Three new answers, two trust points and a question from the wiki category

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Four new supervisors, three new answers, two trust points
And a question from the wiki category

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Five new users, four new supervisors, three new answers,
Two trust points and a question from the wiki category

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Six questions to merge, five new users, four new supervisors,
Three new answers, two trust points
And a question from the wiki category

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Seven premier answerers, six questions to merge, five new users,
Four new supervisors, three new answers, two trust points
And a question from the wiki category

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eight questions to split, seven premier answerers, six questions to merge,
Five new users, four new supervisors, three new answers,
Two trust points and a question from the wiki category

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Nine SPAs, eight questions to split, seven premier answerers,
Six questions to merge, five new users, four new supervisors,
Three new answers, two trust points
And a question from the wiki category

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Ten updated answers, nine SPAs, eight questions to split,
Seven premier answerers, six questions to merge, five new users,
Four new supervisors, three new answers, two trust points
And a question from the wiki category

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eleven brand new mentors, ten updated answers, nine SPAs,
Eight questions to split, seven premier answerers, six questions to merge,
Five new users, four new supervisors, three new answers,
Two trust points and a question from the wiki category

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Twelve vandals to block, eleven brand new mentors, ten updated answers,
Nine SPAs, eight questions to split, seven premier answerers,
Six questions to merge, five new users, four new supervisors,
Three new answers, two trust points

And a question from the wiki category!

Mike 2: Happy Holidays

Mike 2’s last poem brought such a smile to our faces we’re having him back for an encore performance these next three days.  The first poem of this special Poetry Cafe trifecta celebrates the holidays this time of year.

[If you would like your original poetry profiled on this blog, please e-mail it to poetry @ wikianswers.com (no spaces) and include your WikiAnswers username!]

Happy Holidays, by Mike 2

Holidays they come and go
But seem much better with some snow

Rain or shine, snow or hail
Santa’s on the present giving trail

Snow is better for Santa’s sleigh
So much easier for him to get away

He needs the speed to deliver the toys
There’s lots to give out to the girls and boys

Dolls and trains, prams and bikes
Delivering presents is what Santa likes

Have you been good, I hope you have been
Then Santa will visit you, but totally unseen

Holiday, they come and go
Season to be jolly it is so

Season to wish friends lots of cheer
Season for family to be near

Season for giving, that is true
And here’s my wish

Happy Holidays to you.

Santa Letter-Writing Time!

The temperature is dropping, the snow is whirling around, and frost-bitten vendors are selling honey-roasted peanuts on the street corner. It’s that time of year again; The time to show your holiday warmth and spread that selfless, super fuzzy holiday cheer.

Not!

I’ll tell you what Xmas means…It’s SANTA LETTER WRITING TIME! Yay!

I want an iPhone!

I want Guitar Hero! I want a bulldog.

I want Skittles for breakfast. I want to fly to Hollywood and meet Robert Pattinson!

I want, I want… I WANT to fly to space (only $200,000 now!)

And while you’re at it Santa, I want a year’s supply of astronaut ice cream!

Just let it out! All year long you helped old ladies cross the road, you found lost puppies and brought them back to their owners! You never Jay-walked. You ate asparagus because it made your momma proud. You helped your little sister with homework, and you always threw your gum out in the garbage, even if the garbage can was at the end of the block. You donated your allowance to worthy causes like cancer research and heck, you even walked along the sidewalk so that you wouldn’t hurt the grass— because that’s the kind of person YOU are.

So now is your chance to ask for everything and anything you want. Santa is known to give good girls and boys anything their heart desires… (he also happens to be a huge fan of Answers.com).

So go ahead, tell Santa what you want for Christmas!

Good day for the Eastern hemisphere.

Today we’d like to wish everyone a very festive Chinese New Year and a very happy Australia Day! Oh sure, even if you aren’t Chinese or Australian, you can still have fun learning about these two holidays and even attempting to answer a question or two once you’ve read up about them.

Below are some trivia facts and popular Q&As about each of today’s Eastern hemisphere celebrations.

In China…

Meanwhile, over in Australia…

  • Today is the national day chosen to commemorate the establishment of the first British settlement on the continent of Australia. January 26th is actually the date when the first penal colony was founded in New South Wales in 1788. So that’s where all those Australian ex-con jokes come from…
  • Bake your own Lamingtons! The spongy, buttery cake is an Australian treat traditionally handed out on Australia Day. Here’s a recipe.
  • Barbecues, citizenship ceremonies and the beach: This is how Australians celebrate the day.

Get into the holiday spirit at WikiAnswers.

WikiAnswers categories abound! Like department stores in New York City, WikiAnswers is crowded and buzzing with thousands of categories – and these days, I’d like to point out the exceptionally seasonal categories which are showing up like mall workers in elf costumes.

Check out the updated tag cloud for categories, including holiday favorites such as:

And don’t forget the other seasonal categories you may want to check out:

So get started asking, answering and editing! There’s work to be done this season.


What are some proper adjectives for Thanksgiving?

Gobble gobble! This week’s WikiAnswers Wednesday is Thanksgiving-themed, and I think you can guess why. Instead of exploring the origins of the holiday, I’d like to go a different angle: describing this wonderful day of wonderful food.

What are some proper adjectives for Thanksgiving?

http://www.answers.com/topic/thanksgiving-day#Wikipedia

Now, the answer given on WikiAnswers is logical and… well, less-than-fun. I came up with my own list of ‘proper adjectives’ to describe the American holiday:

  • Awesome.
  • Tasty.
  • Feasty.
  • Kinda cruel (to large poultry).
  • Kinda cruel (to vegetarians).
  • Kinda cruel (to potato-kind though I don’t think potatoes feel anything so it’s ok).
  • Pious (if you consider piety to be satiating).
  • Family fun (if by fun I mean all of us together in the house again, repeating scenes from childhood).
  • Again, awesome.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nothing says “I love you” like…

Nothing says “I love you” like…Whoa! It’s already mid-February!? That means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. For singles, Valentine’s Day is just an annoying Hallmark holiday that makes us feel like crap. But for you cute lovebirds out there, it’s a day to celebrate the love between you and your Valentine.

Hmmm…maybe us single folk could just focus on celebrating all the OTHER love in our lives! Like our love of chocolate, for example. The day AFTER Valentine’s Day is, after all, an excellent time to buy great chocolate on sale! All those truffles the couples spend a fortune on will suddenly be half price for the rest of us!

What about you? Have you found the perfect gift for your Valentine? How will you be saying “I love you” this year? With flowers? Candy? A car?

Join in the WikiAnswers love fest… ask and answer questions about Valentine’s Day gift giving now! Share that love!

My all-time favorite Christmas questions.

For years, as I watch the Christmas specials on TV and sing along to the carols on the radio, I’ve pondered and wondered about certain things the holiday season brings. Since today is the culmination of that intense questioning, I have compiled a list of my most burning queries hoping that someone – if not Santa himself – will present me with answers:

Merry holidays, WikiAnswerers!

apples in porks mouths

(I’m not suggesting we’re pigs or anything…)

Gift-giving with all the answers.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a last-minute shopper. And, while there may be no such thing as a stupid answer, there are stupid gift ideas…

The art of gift giving is to focus on the person receiving the gift as opposed to… yourself. Keep the age, background and interests of your generosity’s target in the forefront of your mind. Would you give your teenage daughter a fancy pen? Your boss a pair of sneakers?I've Got All the Answers sweatshirt

Since the start of the ‘season of giving’ (or is it ‘season of buying?’), we’ve been receiving Santa-sized sackfuls of questions on WikiAnswers concerning what are appropriate gifts for seniors/toddlers/workmates and everyone else in our lives.

Here are some samples:

Feeling generous? Give answers to the Holiday Gift Giving Q&A on WikiAnswers.

And for gifts that work for anyone in your life – from baby to professor to granddad – be sure to check out the online store with all the answers!

Does the Easter Bunny get to celebrate Christmas?

The holiday season is upon us. It’s a time for reflecting on all those important things in life like families and friends…making your lists and checking them twice. You know the drill.

But it’s also a time to ponder really meaningful things like those in our latest WikiAnswers featured topics: Gift Giving and Holidays/Traditions. I mean, who HASN’T wondered what that crazy old grinch wanted with Christmas once he stole it!?

Kick off the holiday season by answering Gift Giving or Holiday questions like the following:

Happy holidays!