The St. Patrick's Day History Quiz

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By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Raise a toast to the most raucous holiday on the calendar. While St. Paddy's Day has a reputation for drunken debauchery, its origin and namesake aren't so silly. Test your Irish holiday knowledge by enjoying this quiz with a pint of Guinness.

St. Patrick's background was …

Patrick was actually born into Roman Britain.

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When was Patrick alive?

Patrick was charming snakes (we'll get to that) in the late fourth and into the fifth century.

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How did Patrick get to Ireland?

Patrick was captured by Irish pirates. Exciting stuff!

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Patrick made a daring escape from slavery to what country?

Patrick studied in Gaul and was ordained a priest while there.

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Why did Patrick return to Ireland to convert the natives?

Those pesky visions are always making saints do the hard stuff.

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What color was associated with St. Patrick?

Originally, a sky blue color symbolized Patrick.

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When did Patrick's color become green?

Green took over after the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

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Why was green adopted?

Ireland used the clover as a national symbol.

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Patrick (supposedly) used a shamrock to explain what?

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all connected by a common stem.

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What animal did St. Patrick drive out of Ireland?

Who needs snakes anyway?

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Why was banishing snakes from Ireland a fairly easy task?

Yeah, there were no snakes in Ireland — like, ever.

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But come on: Driving snakes from the land was a metaphor! For what?

Patrick wanted to get rid of the people he thought of as slithering heathen snakes — pagans.

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Americans have long worn green on St. Paddy's Day. Why did the Irish originally find the color a bad outfit choice?

And those fairies steal children who wear green so watch your back.

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Ireland has 4 million residents. How many Americans claim Irish heritage?

The U.S. is more Irish than Ireland?

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What important St. Patrick symbol can be hard to find due to inclement growing conditions?

Bad weather and other factors lead to clover being hard to find.

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How much Guinness is consumed on St. Patrick's Day?

While normally about 5 million pints are drunk, St. Patrick's Day more than doubles consumption to 13 million pints.

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What Irish establishments were traditionally closed on St. Patrick's Day?

That's right, you couldn't get a drink in a bar on March 17, until 1961.

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What does "Erin go bragh" mean?

It's used as an expression of nationalism and means "Ireland forever."

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What was a traditional Irish St. Patrick's Day meal?

Corned beef became the traditional meal of Irish immigrants in the U.S., as brisket was less expensive than the hamlike bacon.

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What kind of staff did Patrick carry?

He'd plant the walking stick in the ground while evangelizing.

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What does the name of the British town Aspatria mean?

Patrick supposedly took so long to convert the people of Cumbria that his ash staff grew into a tree.

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When was the first St. Patrick's Day parade held?

Beginning in 1762, the St. Patrick's Day parade has some pretty decent historical roots.

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Where did the first parade take place?

That's right, Irish soldiers in the British army marched through New York.

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What happens when St. Patrick's Day falls during Lent?

Many Catholics (and clergy) give St. Patrick's Day a dispensation as a feast day — meaning Lenten abstinence doesn't apply.

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What city dyes its river green to celebrate St. Patrick?

The Chicago River is vibrant neon green every March 17.

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What's in the dye?

Apparently the formula is top secret, which is totally not suspicious.

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How much of the powder dye is dumped into the river?

The powder is orange but turns green in the water.

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Why is St. Patrick's Day celebrated on March 17?

Patrick supposedly died on March 17, and people mourn him with copious amounts of Guinness every year.

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When did Belfast, Northern Ireland, have its first St. Patrick's Day parade?

Because of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the city didn't have a parade until late in the 20th century.

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According to some sources, Patrick's given name was …

Some people say his given name was Maewyn. "Patrick" came from the Latin "Patricius."

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