Seems like everybody wants to be Irish – or pretend to be – on St. Patrick’s Day.
In the spirit of the festivities, here’s a little quiz I’d like you to take to see how much you really know about St. Patrick’s Day. Just for fun! (Answers are listed below for all ten questions.)
Saint Patrick was born in Ireland. True or False?
Saint Patrick became a saint because he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. True or False?
Saint Patrick’s real name is Maewyn Succat. True or False?
We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the birthday of St. Patrick. True or False?
What percentage of the American population is known to have Irish heritage?
Which state in America has the highest percentage of the population with Irish heritage?
b) New York
d) New Hampshire
Which state in America has the lowest percentage of the population with Irish heritage?
b) New Mexico
St. Patrick’s Day parades are a big deal in many cities across our nation. Which of the following cities does NOT have a parade big enough to be listed in the top three biggest parades of our country?
a) Savannah, GA
b) Boston, MA
c) New York City, NY
d) Chicago, IL
In what year did The White House start putting green dye into the big fountain on the South Lawn?
Chicago is well-known for dying the Chicago River a bright green as part of its St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
What color is the powdered dye that turns the water green?
Service One is here for you on St. Paddy’s Day – and every day!
- Wear green or eat greens…
- Eat Lucky Charms or are charmed with luck…
- Hale from the Emerald Isle or just love emeralds…
- Drink green beer, brown ale, or golden brew…
- Have a pot of gold or no pot at all…
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Answer to ONE:
St. Patrick was born in Britain in 386 A.D. Many scholars believe he was a Welshman. When he was sixteen years old, a group of Irishmen raided his family’s estate and took him captive, hauling him to Ireland where he was forced to live isolated and alone, working as a shepherd. For six years, St. Patrick tended the flocks and turned to God for solace.
During his time in Ireland, St. Patrick had a dream that he was supposed to convert the pagan Irishman to Christianity. Six years later, St. Patrick had a dream that it was time to leave Ireland. He trekked 200 miles to the coast and escaped back to England where he studied for fifteen years to become a priest.
He returned to Ireland and devoted his life to converting the Irish to Christianity. Because St. Patrick understood the Irish culture and beliefs, he was able to incorporate them into his teaching, making for effective conversion of the majority of Irish people.
Answer to TWO:
False on two counts!
First, there are no snakes in Ireland. The legend of driving “snakes” out is probably a reference to driving pagan beliefs out of the country. The people may have associated pagan evils with the Biblical reference to evil as a serpent. They then applied the analogy of St. Patrick driving out the "snakes" of Ireland.
Secondly, “St. Patrick” is not a canonized Saint of the Catholic church. Instead, he’s termed a “saint” by popular acclamation.
Answer to THREE:
True. Maewyn Succat is the given name of the man who later became St. Patrick. After he was ordained as a priest, he took on the name of Patrick, probably because it was a common name in Ireland.
Answer to FOUR:
False. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the day of St. Patrick’s death: March 17, 460 or 461 AD.
Answer to FIVE:
The answer is “a.”
25.75% of the population of the United States, 52 million people, have Irish heritage.
ANSWER TO SIX:
The answer is “d.”
New Hampshire has the highest percentage of Irish descendants with 20.2% of its residents claiming a connection to the Irish.
ANSWER TO SEVEN:
The answer is “c,” Hawaii, with just 4.3% of the population claiming Irish ancestry.
ANSWER TO EIGHT:
The answer is “b.” Boston, Massachusetts which is listed as seventh out of the eight biggest parades.
Surprisingly, Savannah Georgia is right behind New York City and Chicago.
Savannah, Georgia’s existence is due, in part, to a ship of indentured Irish servants that came to its shores in 1734 and provided the labor that helped the young colony to survive. More than 35% of Savannah’s residents are descended from Irish immigrants.
New York and Chicago, both with populations in the millions, have parades that bring in 2 million visitors.
Savannah, Georgia has a population of 147,000. Its St. Paddy’s Day festivities bring in around 500,000 people.
The cities ranking 4-8 in size of their parades are Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio, TX; New Orleans, LA; Boston, MA; Atlanta, GA.
Answer to NINE:
The answer is “d,” 2009.
But a cool bit of trivia: Chicago started dying the Chicago River in 1962. The dye that turned the water green was originally used to help clean up the river by finding the source of waste entering the water.
Answer to TEN:
The answer is “c.” Ironically, the powdered dye dumped into the river to turn it green is ORANGE!