St. Paddy's Day
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Is the luck of the Irish with you? Test your Irish trivia knowledge and find out!

For every answer you get right, give yourself a shamrock.  May the Luck of the Irish be with You!

 

(Answers appear when you hover over the Shamrock

at the end of each question... but NO FAIR PEEKING!

Answers are also given at the end of the questions,

in the event some sneaky leprechaun stole them!)

 

1. Saint Patrick was thought to be from:

A)     Ireland or England

B)      Scotland or England

C)      England or France

D)     Ireland or Scotland

                1. B) Scotland or England - He was probably born in Scotland or Britain near the end of the fourth century. He was born Maewyn Succat, taking on the name of Patrick, or Patricus, after he became a priest. No one knows his birth or death date. March 17 is traditionally considered to be one of the two, but there is no documentation for this. The only documents about Patrick are his Confession and a letter he wrote to Coroticus.

 

2. What does "Cead Mile Failte" mean?

A)     “I would walk miles to be with you”

B)      “One thousand welcomes”

C)      “Good-bye”

D)     “Until we meet again”

2. B) One Thousand Welcomes

 

3. The official emblem of Ireland is:

A)     The Shamrock

B)     The Harp

C)     The Blarney Stone

D)     The Leprechaun

3. B) The Harp - The harp is an ancient musical instrument used in Ireland for centuries. It is also a symbol of Ireland (and of course of Guinness!). Harpists, who were often blind, occupied a honored place in Irish society and, together with bards (or poets) played an important role in the social structure, supported by chieftains and kings. O'Carolan was one of the most famous harpists, and many Irish melodies inspired by him survive to this day.

 

4. St. Patrick was:

A)     A Christian missionary

B)     An Irish monk

C)     A French botanist

D)     A Scottish farmer

4. A) A Christian missionary – St. Patrick, in fact, was not Irish!  He was a British Celt, kidnapped at the age of 16 by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland.  During his 6-year captivity (working as a shepherd), he began to have religious visions, and found strength in his faith. He finally escaped (after voices in one of his visions told him where he could find a getaway ship) and went to France, where he became a priest (and later a bishop). When he was about 60 years old, St. Patrick traveled to Ireland to spread the Christian word. It's said that Patrick had an unusually winning personality, and that helped him win converts.  Patrick predates the Roman Catholic Church, and was considered a “saint” before the Roman church created its canon (list) of saints (and added him to it).

 

5. In addition to being a very successful and famous Christian missionary, what else was Saint Patrick known for?

A)     Discovering the medicinal properties of the clover leaf

B)     Driving the snakes out of Ireland

C)     Being a talented harpist

D)     Declaring the shamrock a symbol of Ireland

5. B) Driven the snakes out of Ireland - Of course, though it is true that there are no snakes in Ireland, there probably have not been since Ireland was separated from the continent of Europe at the end of the ice age. Actually, the legend that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland may just be a colorful reference to the fact that he brought Christianity to the island, replacing paganism. In many pagan sects, snakes are symbols or objects of worship.

 

6. "Aer Lingus" is:

A)     An ancient Irish epic poem

B)      A slow and mournful Irish song

C)      The Irish national airline

D)     The proper name for the Irish language

6. C) The Irish national airline - And the Aer Lingus logo? A shamrock, of course!

 

7. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to represent:

A)     The coming of spring and reincarnation

B)     Good luck

C)     The Trinity

D)     Spring

7. C) The Trinity - There is no historical evidence to support this claim, but St. Patrick is said to have used the 3 leaves as a metaphor to explain the concept of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

 

8. Leprechauns are said to be:

A)     Friendly little fairies who like to be chased and to give away gold

B)     Ill-tempered and unfriendly spirits, with a hidden pot of gold, capable of great mischief

C)     Environmentally conscious persons who dress in green, and who like to eat sugary cereals

D)     Tiny men found at the end of rainbows

8. B) Ill-tempered and unfriendly spirits, with a hidden pot of gold capable of great mischief - Leprechauns really don't have anything to do with St. Patrick's Day, but they are probably used because they're Irish and are made to look cute in illustrations. A Leprechaun looks like a small, old man (about 2-3 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly, live alone, and pass the time making shoes...they also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.

 

9. The Blarney Stone is famous because:

A)     Kissing it is said to bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence

B)      Kissing it is said to bring good luck

C)      King Arthur is said to have pulled a sword from it

D)     It marks the burial spot of St. Patrick

9. A) Kissing it is said to bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence - Kissing the Blarney Stone, gives you the "gift of gab." If you give it one kiss, you can talk a lot of "blarney" and people will still believe you! The stone is set in a wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. The castle was built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhiv McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) -- its walls are 18 feet thick (necessary to thwart attacks by Cromwellians and William III's troops). Thousands of tourists a year still visit the castle. The origins of the Blarney Stone's magical properties aren't clear, but one legend says that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly. It's tough to reach the stone -- it's between the main castle wall and the parapet. Kissers have to lie on their back, and bend backward and downward, holding iron bars for support (see answers below for a link to see a picture). And when you do, you will be kissing something that has been kissed by thousands of people a year for 500 years! Yuck!  (To kiss the Blarney Stone on the web, see answers below for the link!)

 

10. The color green is associated with St. Patrick's Day because:

A)     It is the color of spring, Ireland and the shamrock

B)      St. Patrick is said to have worn a green felt hat

C)      It represents the grain used to make Irish beer

D)     It symbolizes spiritual renewal

10.A) It is the color of spring, Ireland and the shamrock

 

11. What is the meaning of "Erin Go Bragh"?

A)     "Happy St. Patrick's Day"

B)     "May the luck of the Irish be with you"

C)     "Ireland Forever"

D)     “Kiss me, I’m Irish”

11. C) "Ireland Forever"

 

12. Why is the shamrock associated with St. Patrick's Day?

A)     Because it's green and represents the coming of spring

B)      Because Saint Patrick used it to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

C)      Because it brings good luck

D)     Because four-leaf clovers are hard to find

12. B) Because Saint Patrick used it to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – although this cannot be documented, and may be only legend.

 

13. Which of the following does NOT bring you good luck on St. Patrick's Day?

A)     Kissing the Blarney Stone

B)      Finding a four-leaf clover

C)      Wearing green

D)     Eating Lucky Charms

13. D) Eating Lucky Charms

 

14. Where was the first St. Patrick's Day celebrated in America?

A)     Richmond, VA

B)     Plymouth, MA

C)     Boston, MA

D)     Philadelphia, PA

14. C) Boston, MA - The first St. Patrick's Day celebration in America was in Boston in 1737 hosted by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. The second was established by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Philadelphia in 1780. In America, Saint Patrick's Day is a basically a time to wear green and party. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Today, over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day parades, the largest held in New York City.

 

15. Irish farmers in the spring would do this to each member of their family as they said, "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."

A)     Pull the leaves off a shamrock

B)      Give a toast with beer to each member

C)      Mark a cross on their arm with ash from a burnt stick

D)     Hang a cross over their beds.

15. C) Mark a cross on their arm with ash from a burnt stick.

 

16. St. Patrick changed Ireland's national color to green.  True or False?

16. False - During St. Patrick’s time, the color was blue.  Green wasn’t popular until the 19th century.

 

17. What is Ireland's nickname?

A)     The Emerald Isle

B)      Four Green Fields

C)      Land of the Green

D)     The Auld Sod

17. A) The Emerald Isle - Thanks to plentiful rain and mist, Ireland is indeed green year-round, which was probably the inspiration for the national color.

 

18. St. Patrick loved to listen to Irish tales. So much so he declared that they all must be told in poetic verse from then on. True or False?

18. True – Story has it that he loved Caoilte – the famous poet of his time.  He declared all Irish tales be told where “every third word have melody”.

 

19. What Irish dance later became popular in America in the early century?

A)     The Irish Two-Step

B)      The Boston Rage

C)      Irish Jig

D)     The Gaelic Galop

                        19. C) Irish Jig

 

 

20. According to Irish legends, where do the fairies who kidnap brides and babies take them?

A)     In the forests

B)      In fairy mounds

C)      In caves in the mountains

D)     Under Bridges

20. B) In fairy mounds – They are said to put them there for up to 100 years. It was believed that the bride and groom were susceptible to being stolen by the fairies, or concerned by evil spirits. To prevent this, in Mediaeval times the bridesmaids and groomsmen were dressed similar to the bride and groom and danced together to mislead any unwelcome spirits.  Farmers today do not disturb some small lumpy hills if on their land because they feel spirits are in them. It was believed that the bride and groom were susceptible to being stolen by the fairies, or concerned by evil spirits. To prevent this, in Mediaeval times the bridesmaids and groomsmen were dressed similar to the bride and groom and danced together to mislead any unwelcome spirits.

 

21.  A popular Irish dish that is shredded cabbage, potatoes, minced onions and melted butter is known as:

A)     Mulligatawny

B)      Shepherds' Pie

C)      Colcannon

D)     Fairy Porridge

                        21. C) Colcannon – Mulligatawny is a soup based on a chicken stock and curry, with cream, pieces of chicken, onion, celery, apples and almonds and garnished with rice.  Shepherd’s Pie is made with meat with its pan gravy, carrots, peas and corn niblets which are topped with mashed potatoes and baked in an oven.  Fairy Porridge is an illusive dish, with a magical touch… click here for one such tale.

 

22. If you're out looking for a pot of gold, and you come across a leprechaun with a shillelagh, (pronounced: sha-lay'-li) that would mean he

A)     Is carrying a big stick

B)      Has a four-leaf clover

C)      Is walking a pot-bellied pig

D)     Is toting a 10-gauge sotgun

                22. A) Is carrying a big stick - And you better watch out! It may look like a walking stick, but he may wave it around to scare you away from his pot of gold!

 

23. In Ireland, many people have last names that start with "Mac," meaning "son of." What does the "O", as in "O'Brien", mean?

A)     “Brother of”

B)      “Grandson of”

C)      “Father of”

D)     “Nephew of”

23. B) “Grandson of” - Unlike many English names, which refer to the town or place a family lives, Irish names tell people who your family is.

 

24.  What special event has taken place for the past 43 years as part of Chicago’s St. Patrick's Day Parade celebrations?

A)     They serve nothing but Green Beer in all the city’s pubs

B)      Local Police hand out violations to anyone not wearing green

C)     They dye the Chicago River green

D)      Officials place pots of Gold on street corners scattered throughout the city

        24. C) They dye the Chicago River green – Some say this spectacular transformation “ranks right up there with the parting of the sea by Moses and the Pyramids of Egypt.” The sight is significant and breathtaking because the color green is identical to the greens of Ireland from where it got its name "The Emerald Isle."

 

 

 

1. B) Scotland or England - He was probably born in Scotland or Britain near the end of the fourth century. He was born Maewyn Succat, taking on the name of Patrick, or Patricus, after he became a priest. No one knows his birth or death date. March 17 is traditionally considered to be one of the two, but there is no documentation for this. The only documents about Patrick are his Confession and a letter he wrote to Coroticus.

2. B) One Thousand Welcomes

3. B) The Harp - The harp is an ancient musical instrument used in Ireland for centuries. It is also a symbol of Ireland (and of course of Guinness!). Harpists, who were often blind, occupied a honored place in Irish society and, together with bards (or poets) played an important role in the social structure, supported by chieftains and kings. O'Carolan was one of the most famous harpists, and many Irish melodies inspired by him survive to this day.

4. A) A Christian missionary St. Patrick, in fact, was not Irish!  He was a British Celt, kidnapped at the age of 16 by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland.  During his 6-year captivity (working as a shepherd), he began to have religious visions, and found strength in his faith. He finally escaped (after voices in one of his visions told him where he could find a getaway ship) and went to France, where he became a priest (and later a bishop). When he was about 60 years old, St. Patrick traveled to Ireland to spread the Christian word. It's said that Patrick had an unusually winning personality, and that helped him win converts.  Patrick predates the Roman Catholic Church, and was considered a “saint” before the Roman church created its canon (list) of saints (and added him to it).

5. B) Driven the snakes out of Ireland - Of course, though it is true that there are no snakes in Ireland, there probably have not been since Ireland was separated from the continent of Europe at the end of the ice age. Actually, the legend that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland may just be a colorful reference to the fact that he brought Christianity to the island, replacing paganism. In many pagan sects, snakes are symbols or objects of worship.

6. C) The Irish national airline - And the Aer Lingus logo? A shamrock, of course!

7. C) The Trinity - There is no historical evidence to support this claim, but St. Patrick is said to have used the 3 leaves as a metaphor to explain the concept of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

8. B) Ill-tempered and unfriendly spirits, with a hidden pot of gold capable of great mischief - Leprechauns really don't have anything to do with St. Patrick's Day, but they are probably used because they're Irish and are made to look cute in illustrations. A Leprechaun looks like a small, old man (about 2-3 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly, live alone, and pass the time making shoes...they also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.

9. A) Kissing it is said to bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence - Kissing the Blarney Stone, gives you the "gift of gab." If you give it one kiss, you can talk a lot of "blarney" and people will still believe you! The stone is set in a wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. The castle was built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhiv McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) -- its walls are 18 feet thick (necessary to thwart attacks by Cromwellians and William III's troops). Thousands of tourists a year still visit the castle. The origins of the Blarney Stone's magical properties aren't clear, but one legend says that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly. It's tough to reach the stone -- it's between the main castle wall and the parapet. Kissers have to lie on their back, and bend backward and downward, holding iron bars for support (click here to see a picture). And when you do, you will be kissing something that has been kissed by thousands of people a year for 500 years! Yuck!  (To kiss the Blarney Stone on the web, click here!)

10.A) It is the color of spring, Ireland and the shamrock

11. C) "Ireland Forever"

12. B) Because Saint Patrick used it to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – although this cannot be documented, and may be only legend.

13. D) Eating Lucky Charms

14. C) Boston, MA - The first St. Patrick's Day celebration in America was in Boston in 1737 hosted by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. The second was established by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Philadelphia in 1780. In America, Saint Patrick's Day is a basically a time to wear green and party. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Today, over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day parades, the largest held in New York City.

15. C) Mark a cross on their arm with ash from a burnt stick.

16. False - During St. Patrick’s time, the color was blue.  Green wasn’t popular until the 19th century.

17. A) The Emerald Isle - Thanks to plentiful rain and mist, Ireland is indeed green year-round, which was probably the inspiration for the national color.

18. True Story has it that he loved Caoilte – the famous poet of his time.  He declared all Irish tales be told where “every third word have melody”.

19. C) Irish Jig

20. B) In fairy mounds – They are said to put them there for up to 100 years. It was believed that the bride and groom were susceptible to being stolen by the fairies, or concerned by evil spirits. To prevent this, in Mediaeval times the bridesmaids and groomsmen were dressed similar to the bride and groom and danced together to mislead any unwelcome spirits.  Farmers today do not disturb some small lumpy hills if on their land because they feel spirits are in them. It was believed that the bride and groom were susceptible to being stolen by the fairies, or concerned by evil spirits. To prevent this, in Mediaeval times the bridesmaids and groomsmen were dressed similar to the bride and groom and danced together to mislead any unwelcome spirits.

21. C) Colcannon Mulligatawny is a soup based on a chicken stock and curry, with cream, pieces of chicken, onion, celery, apples and almonds and garnished with rice.  Shepherd’s Pie is made with meat with its pan gravy, carrots, peas and corn niblets which are topped with mashed potatoes and baked in an oven.  Fairy Porridge is an illusive dish, with a magical touch… click here for one such tale.

22. A) Is carrying a big stick - And you better watch out! It may look like a walking stick, but he may wave it around to scare you away from his pot of gold!

23. B) “Grandson of” - Unlike many English names, which refer to the town or place a family lives, Irish names tell people who your family is.

24. C) They dye the Chicago River green – Some say this spectacular transformation “ranks right up there with the parting of the sea by Moses and the Pyramids of Egypt.” The sight is significant and breathtaking because the color green is identical to the greens of Ireland from where it got its name "The Emerald Isle."

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