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The St. Patrick's Day History Quiz
by Staff
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 …

  • Irish (duh!)
  • Welsh
  • British

When was Patrick alive?

  • third century C.E.
  • fifth century C.E.
  • first century B.C.E.

How did Patrick get to Ireland?

  • He walked there barefoot.
  • He was kidnapped.
  • His dad got a job in Dublin.

Patrick made a daring escape from slavery to what country?

  • Italy
  • Romania
  • France

Why did Patrick return to Ireland to convert the natives?

  • He had a house there.
  • He had a vision.
  • He missed the dog he left behind.

What color was associated with St. Patrick?

  • green
  • teal
  • blue

When did Patrick's color become green?

  • in the 1950s
  • in the 18th century Irish Rebellion
  • sometime during Queen Elizabeth I's reign

Why was green adopted?

  • The green clover represented Ireland.
  • The British had blue uniforms and it would've been very confusing in battle.
  • The general in charge liked the way it made his eyes pop.

Patrick (supposedly) used a shamrock to explain what?

  • original sin
  • Jesus' perfection
  • the Trinity

What animal did St. Patrick drive out of Ireland?

  • Welsh people
  • raccoons
  • snakes

Why was banishing snakes from Ireland a fairly easy task?

  • There was only one breed of snake, and it was almost extinct anyway.
  • There weren't any snakes there in the first place.
  • Snakes are easily charmed.

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

  • driving the British from Ireland
  • converting pagans
  • throwing off the yoke of Roman rule

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

  • It's the color of fairies.
  • It really washes out pale skin more.
  • It doesn't bring out freckles enough.

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

  • 12 million
  • 2 million
  • 34 million

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

  • stout beer
  • clover
  • potatoes

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

  • around 5 million pints (2,365,882 liters)
  • around 13 million pints
  • around 19 million pints

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

  • schools
  • bars
  • churches

What does "Erin go bragh" mean?

  • Ireland is free.
  • Cheers to Ireland.
  • Ireland forever

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

  • corned beef
  • salmon
  • boiled bacon

What kind of staff did Patrick carry?

  • an ash walking stick
  • a golden scepter
  • a shepherd's hook

What does the name of the British town Aspatria mean?

  • the place of St. Patrick's home
  • the place of St. Patrick's ash tree
  • the place of St. Patrick's walking stick

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

  • 1762
  • 1912
  • 1219

Where did the first parade take place?

  • New York City
  • Dublin
  • Cork, Ireland

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

  • It's a freebie day.
  • You better still adhere to Lenten rules …
  • You have to drink in secret.

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

  • Dublin
  • Chicago
  • New York

What's in the dye?

  • toxic chemicals
  • spinach
  • no one really knows

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

  • 3 cups (720 milliliters)
  • 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms)
  • 40 pounds

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

  • It's the date of Patrick's death.
  • Nobody knows.
  • It marks the beginning of Lent.

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

  • 1912
  • 1998
  • 1931

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

  • Frederick
  • George
  • Maewyn