View Full Version : Friday Trivia: St. Patrick

Star lover
March 16th, 2018, 07:47 AM
Some interesting things about Ireland and St.. Patrick's Day:


- Saint Patrick was not even born in Ireland.

In fact, he was born somewhere in Great Britain. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped by pirates and held in captivity in Ireland for six years. During this time, Saint Patrick found religion, which gave him the hope to survive and eventually escape. He returned to Ireland a few years later as a Christian missionary.


- The first Saint Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland, but in Boston.

If there’s one thing you should know about Boston, it’s that everyone who lives there will claim they are part Irish at some point or another, even if they’re not. No one knows why Bostonians and the Irish have such a strong emotional bond. Maybe it’s the shared love for excessive drinking. Maybe it’s the mass of people who immigrated there after the Great Potato Famine. Who knows? Either way, it’s important to note that Bostonians hosted the first St. Paddy’s Day Parade in 1762, long before the Irish realized that that was their job.

- When was the first St. Patrick's Day Parade held in Dublin, Ireland?

Shockingly, the first parade in Dublin did not occur until 1931. The holiday wasn't a national holiday in Ireland until 1903.

- When did the first New York City St. Patrick's Day parade take place?

In 1762, British soldiers from Ireland marched through the streets of New York City to honor St. Patrick.

(As you can see, both Boston and New York claim to be first to hold the first Saint Patrick's Day parade.....might have to do with the time of day, since both parades were held on the same date.)

- Chicago dyes their main river green to celebrate the holiday.

Using a mixture of vegetable dye and other compounds, the city of Chicago dyes their main river green, every year, to commemorate the Irish holiday.

- Saint Patrick’s real name is Maewyn Succat.

After becoming a priest, Maewyn adopted the name “Patrick,” which means “well-born” in Latin.

- Leprechauns are actually fairies/shoemakers in Irish folklore.

If you thought superheroes had a lot of code-switching to do between their civilian and vigilante lives, imagine how leprechauns feel telling their friends that they are both fairies and shoemakers. Sure, having magical powers is cool and all, but apparently they don’t get you out of manual labor. There Are No Female Leprechauns: Don’t be fooled by any holiday decorations showing lady leprechauns. In traditional Irish folk tales, there are no female leprechauns, only nattily attired little guys.

- The shamrock’s three leaves are meant to represent the Holy Trinity.

You may find the luck of the Irish in a four-leaf clover, but the national symbol for Saint Patrick’s Day is actually a three-leaf shamrock. Though it may seem weird to have a plant represent a holiday, it makes more sense when you know that, according to legend, Saint Patrick used shamrocks to teach children about the Holy Trinity.
There are 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover. The odds of finding a four-leaf clover are not exaggerated. Next time you find one, frame it!

- The Guinness Book of World Records originated with the Irish native Hugh Beaver, who was the managing director of the Guinness Brewery.

One day, over a couple of beers, Hugh Beaver and his buddies began arguing over which bird was the fastest bird in Ireland. When Beaver realized that there weren’t any reference books that could answer that particular question, he had the idea to make a “book of records” that could officially settle any friendly pub arguments. And thus, the Guinness Book of World Records was born.

- How long is the lease on the Guinness Brewery?

Arthur Guinness signed up to a 9,000 year lease on the brewery, with an annual rent of £45 ($62.77), in 1759.
March 17th is a big day for the company. On a usual day, people around the world quaff 5.5 million pints of Guinness. On St. Patrick's Day, however, that figure jumps to 13 million.


- Divorce was not permitted in Ireland until 1997.

Not directly related to St. Patrick’s Day, but still mind-boggling enough to be included on this list.

- There are more Americans of Irish origin than there are Irish in Ireland.

Well, sort of. In 2008, around 36 million Americans claimed Irish ancestry, while at the time the population of Ireland was only 4 million. However, not everyone who claims Irish ancestry is fully Irish. As I mentioned before, most Bostonians will show off their boxing leprechaun tattoos without admitting that they are, in fact, only 2% Irish, so this statistic is a bit skewed.

- What does the word "shamrock" mean in Gaelic?


Shamrock translates to "young clover," and many kinds of clover can be a shamrock.

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

St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD.

- Irish soda bread is popular on St. Patrick's Day.

Why is it tradition to cut a cross on the top of the loaf? The cross is cut into the dough with a knife before baking to ward off the devil.

- Legend says that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. Approximately how many snakes did he save the Irish people from?

None. Sorry, trick question. There were actually no snakes in Ireland. The snake reference is considered a metaphorical explanation for St. Patrick driving evil and paganism out of Ireland.

- Green has not always been the color associated with St. Patrick and St. Patrick's Day.

What was the first color associated with St. Patrick? Hard to believe, but it was blue. The Order of St. Patrick, established in 1783, selected blue as its color because dark green was already taken. Green became popular with the 1798 Irish Rebellion when wearing a clover on a lapel became a sign.


- What makes this symbol of Ireland unique?


The Celtic harp is a national symbol of Ireland, making it the only country to have a musical instrument as a national symbol.

- The Lingo Makes Sense.

You can’t attend a Saint Patrick’s Day event without hearing a cry of “Erin go Bragh.” What’s the phrase mean? It’s a corruption of the Irish Éirinn go Brách, which means roughly “Ireland Forever.”

Swedish leo
March 16th, 2018, 08:06 AM
How interesting!

Thank you for posting it !

March 16th, 2018, 08:33 AM
Wow!! Thanks that is all very interesting!

March 16th, 2018, 09:37 AM
Very interesting. As a child, my mom would bring to Irish concerts and dances. I always wished I had some Irish heritage in me, but I dont. I love seeing the mummers dance and hearing Irish music. I guess we are all Irish on St Patrick's day.

March 16th, 2018, 09:57 AM
Interesting. A lot of St. Patrick's trivia I hadn't known. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie Watters
March 16th, 2018, 12:07 PM
This was very interesting! Thanks for sharing ... no female Leprechauns - never thought about that before ...

March 16th, 2018, 12:18 PM
My mother's ancestors came from Ireland three generations back. She was the most beautiful black-haired blue-eyed Irish woman - and stubborn and strong. We have just recently discovered my dad's ancestors came over from Ireland five generations back. Guess I can claim to be mostly Irish and being married to a full blooded German keeps life more than interesting most of the time. I sometimes don't know how our kids deal with themselves some days! (Youngest son is Patrick!)

March 16th, 2018, 02:47 PM
I'm full Irish although it takes a lot to get my Irish temper up. My grandmothers were as Irish as anyone has ever been. We celebrate our St Pat's Day on the 18th, as this was my Grandma Nan's birthday and the traditional corned beef meal was her favorite. She always made the soda bread. Grandma Nan has been gone 21 years...never forgotten and loved beyond measure. Rest In Peace my sweet Nan.

March 16th, 2018, 10:22 PM
Very interesting trivia today.
In 2001 DH and I flew to Ireland to pub hop on St. Patricks day. It fell on a SUnday that year and we arrived the Friday before at the SHannon airport and went to Bunratty to a very nice 4 star next to a nice restored castle and a woolen mill. We went on a walking tour of the pubs and couldn't find a great party happening. Turns out it is a real religious holiday in Ireland and we were pinned with SHamrock on Sunday Morning...sort of like palm sunday here. No one got drunk on Saturday night because services were all day and early on Sunday.
My heritage? I was always told no irish...just English/German. So in my early 40's I was diagnosed with a skin disease that only irish woman get. I found my biological father and asked if there were irish. Nope...just English. Then later he said, you know, there was your grandmother Simmons, (simmons mattress people) but they disowned her when she married the Englishman Grampa Floyd. So, you never know....I guess Ancestry . com could tell you now a days.

March 16th, 2018, 10:33 PM
Very interesting trivia. Thanks for sharing. Denver always has a big St. Paddy's Day parade on the Sat. closest to the holiday. They paint a green stripe down the middle of the parade route. It's usually very well attended. In the 40 yrs. we've lived in CO, I think we went to the parade only one time -- when the kids still were at home & we were much younger and in good health. In can be pretty chilly in March.