What’s your favourite Christmas at the Great Hall memory? Was it the Philosopher’s Stone Christmas dinner, with the first-year students seeing their first-ever festive Hogwarts for the very first time? How about the third-year Christmas, where barely anyone turned up, and Albus Dumbledore got a hat with a stuffed vulture in his Christmas cracker, much to Professor Snape’s chagrin? We must admit, we particularly liked that one.
We only got to see four Christmases in the Great Hall with Harry. After the Yule Ball in Harry’s fourth year, extenuating circumstances (and yes, by this we mean Lord Voldemort) meant that Harry was usually elsewhere during the festive season, such as in St Mungo’s after Arthur Weasley was attacked, or visiting his parent’s grave at Godric’s Hollow. Sadly, not every Christmas can be full of turkey, eggnog and frivolity.
But the times we did spend at Hogwarts will always be special to not just Harry, but for us too. So why not relive some of our favourite Christmassy Great Hall moments before settling down for your own Christmas feasts?
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 fat 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 Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts was quite an eye-opener for the poor lad. After all, it was his first time seeing the Great Hall dressed up in all its splendour, complete with a dozen towering Christmas trees, and festoons of holly and mistletoe. Not to mention the insane Christmas dinner. Particular highlights from this dinner included: Hagrid kissing Professor McGonagall on the cheek, Percy nearly breaking his tooth on a silver Sickle and our first introduction to wizard crackers, which produced such items a rear-admiral’s hat and a fetching flowered bonnet.
The Great Hall looked magnificent. Not only were there a dozen frost-covered Christmas trees and thick streamers of holly and mistletoe criss-crossing the ceiling, but enchanted snow was falling, warm and dry, from the ceiling.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry’s second Christmas was slightly distracted by Hermione’s plan to take Polyjuice Potion and break into the Slytherin Common Room, but there was definitely time for a swift three helpings of Christmas pudding before all of that. More highlights from Harry’s second Christmas dinner involved some carol-singing from Dumbledore and Hagrid, and Fred and George bewitching Percy’s Prefect badge to say ‘pinhead’. Percy didn’t have much luck during the Christmas feasts, did he?
‘Derek, have you had any of these chipolatas? They’re excellent.’
The first-year boy went furiously red on being addressed directly by Dumbledore, and took the platter of sausages with trembling hands.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry’s third Christmas dinner was quite awkward, and as such, quite funny. With only 13 Hogwarts residents residing at the school over the festive season (everyone else had scarpered because of the looming threat of Sirius Black) Dumbledore had arranged for the Great Hall house tables to be pushed together, and for the remaining students and staff to dine in a more intimate setting.
This led to several amusing awkward moments, such as Professor Trelawney freaking out that dining with 13 people meant the first person to stand up would die, a poor terrified first-year called Derek being shocked to his core to be addressed by the headmaster personally, and, of course, Snape being incensed by the fact that Albus Dumbledore found a stuffed-vulture hat inside his wizard cracker, emulating Neville’s Boggart version of Snape in a previous Defence Against the Dark Arts class.
There was no food as yet on the glittering golden plates, but small menus lying in front of each of them. Harry picked his up uncertainly, and looked around – there were no waiters. Dumbledore, however, looked carefully down his own menu, then said very clearly to his plate, ‘Pork chops!’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry’s fourth Hogwarts Christmas was particularly special, as the Great Hall was transformed to celebrate the Triwizard Tournament with the Yule Ball. Not that the Yule Ball was that much fun for Harry. In fact, it was positively teeming with teenage drama, such as Ron and Hermione’s spectacular fall-out over Hermione’s date, Viktor Krum, Harry overhearing that Hagrid was half-giant, Hermione’s beautiful makeover, and Harry’s lament over his crush Cho Chang going to the ball with someone else. Still, the feast looked spectacular, and the night ended with a right old boogie along to wizarding band The Weird Sisters.
What’s your favourite Hogwarts Christmas?