The singing grew louder as they approached the church. It made Harry's throat constrict, it reminded him so forcefully of Hogwarts, 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 ...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I've looked up the word cracker, but I don't know which definition fits. What does it really mean here?

2 Answers 2


From Cambridge,

A cracker is a paper tube with small toys, small pieces of sweet food, etc. inside, that is covered with bright paper and makes a short, sharp sound when both ends are pulled.

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"During the Christmas feast at Hogwarts in 1991, Albus Dumbledore received a flowered bonnet from a Wizard Cracker."

"A Wizard Cracker is a magical kind of Christmas cracker that wizards often gift to each other around Christmas, that holds a small gift inside ... Wizard Crackers go off with a bang as loud as a cannon blast, enveloping everyone nearby in a cloud of blue smoke, rather than just a small pop." - Harry Potter Wikipedia

  • I think it's been mentioned in previous books, but I don't recall it exactly. Thanks for the answer!
    – dan
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 3:30

There’s a pretty good description of what this is back in the first book in Chapter Twelve:

and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table. These fantastic party favors were nothing like the feeble Muggle ones the Dursleys usually bought, with their little plastic toys and their flimsy paper hats inside. 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. Up at the High Table, Dumbledore had swapped his pointed wizard’s hat for a flowered bonnet, and was chuckling merrily at a joke Professor Flitwick had just read him.

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