St. Patrick's Day: True or False?

Updated on November 11, 2012
St. Patrick's Day Parade
St. Patrick's Day Parade

St. Patrick's Day Trivia


People all over the world enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day every March 17th. For many Americans, it’s a day of drinking, dancing, feasting, and general revelry. Many of us attend parades, or parties, or both!  We all want to be Irish on this one day of the year.

Chances are you’ve heard lots of myths surrounding St. Patrick, leprechauns, the Irish, and St. Patrick’s special day. Time to separate the truth from the blarney! Ready for a game of twenty questions? See how many of the following questions you can answer correctly:




1.       Everyone knows that St. Patrick was from Ireland, right?

Nope! St. Patrick was born in Scotland, even though he’s considered the patron saint of Erin.


2.       St. Patrick used a shamrock, the three-leaf clover, to illustrate the Trinity.

Nowhere is this documented or even hinted at. Of course, it could be true, but…


3.       Patrick was forced to go to Ireland as a slave when he was sixteen years old.

True. He was kidnapped by Irish pirates.


4.       St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland.

Nope. There never were any snakes in Ireland for him to drive out! This was most likely a metaphor to represent Patrick driving the pagans out.


5.       St. Patrick was the first person to bring Christianity to Ireland.

Not true! There were already Christians in Ireland when St. Patrick arrived there.


6.       Leprechauns are charming, jolly, mischievous elves.

No! The leprechauns from Irish mythology are mean and nasty!


7.       In addition to making shoes, leprechauns are also blacksmiths.

False. Leprechauns are cobblers and bankers.


8.       Leprechauns stole their treasure from the king.

False. It was left behind by the Danes.


9.       All leprechauns are male.

True. Irish mythology never mentions female leprechauns.


10.   Corn beef and cabbage is the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal.

False. The original St. Paddy’s Day meal was boiled bacon and potatoes. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S. during the potato famine, they discovered they could buy a poor quality cut of beef for a cheap price. To tenderize it, it had to be brined. It was then boiled with cabbage.


11.   The Irish have always considered wearing green to be lucky.

Not true. In fact, it was believed that those who wore too much green would be kidnapped by leprechauns.


12.   Patrick was officially canonized by the Catholic Church.

Actually, Patrick was never canonized. When the Church composed its first list of saints, Patrick’s name was already on the list, though he had never officially been sainted.


13.   The majority of Irish Americans are not Catholic.

That’s true, believe it or not! The majority identify themselves as protestant.


14.   The St. Patrick’s Day Parade tradition started in Ireland.

False. It began in the U.S..


15.   Before his death, Patrick appointed no one to be his successor.

True. He failed to appoint anyone to carry on his work.


16.   Patrick actually died on March 17th.

True!  The date is correct, but the year is debatable.


17.   The world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in New York City.



18.   The dye used to turn U.S. rivers green on St. Patrick’s Day lasts for months.

False. Within a few hours, the dye disappears.


19.   If you order an imperial pint of Guinness, you’ll get 16 fluid ounces.

False. You’ll get 20 fluid ounces.


20.   “Erin go bragh” means “Ireland forever!”.

True, when roughly translated.


So, how did you do? If you got most of the answers right, go enjoy a pint o’ Guinness to celebrate! If you got most of the answers wrong, pour yourself a pint to drown your sorrows. Either way, have a happy St. Paddy’s Day, and Erin go bragh!



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    • hobbynob profile image

      hobbynob 6 years ago

      I'd better tell my Irish family that immigrated straight from Ireland that they need to start eating bacon and boiled potatoes instead! They'll get a kick out of that... I think they just like vinegar potatoes too much...

    • Marla Neogra profile image

      Marla J Neogra 6 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

      Fun hub.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      St. Patrick ran them out!! lol

    • Perpeptua profile image

      Perpeptua 7 years ago

      This is probably an overcomplicated questions but why were there never any snakes in Ireland?

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Elf! I love St. Patrick's Day!

    • elf_cash profile image

      elf_cash 7 years ago

      Interesting tidbits about St. Patrick's Day!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Me, too, Sal!

    • profile image

      sal 7 years ago

      i love leprechauns

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Funny, Audrey! I used to think "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly" was about me!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Never officially, Maita. Good to see ya!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Great info - and since my middle boy's name is Patrick, he always thought when he was growing up that that day was JUST FOR HIM - it was too hilarious! But I reminded him he wasn't a saint...not really! Great info and love those scots! I'm a sucker for a guy in a kilt.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      he was never canonized, that is interesting habee, thanks, Maita

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Funny, Mtsi. Some probably are!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Awww, thanks, Veronica!

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 8 years ago

      Great stuff and I thought the green rivers was pollution :) I can say that I am Irish for one day...

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Love the trivia habee. You have definetly been my "go to gal" for St.Patrick's Day trivia. I'm always fascinated with the background of celebrations, where they orginated from and such. Thanks for another informative and fun read.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Ann! Were you rootin' for the Saints? I was, and I am a happy camper right now!!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Delaney! I'm psyched! The Saints WON!!!!!!

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 8 years ago from Virginia

      Fun interactive hub!!! You must have a bit of the Irish luck in you today, habee! But I'm okay with that...while everyone is stuck on Super Bowl Sunday (including me) we all can come to you for our next holiday!!! LOL

    • Delaney Boling profile image

      Delaney Boling 8 years ago

      You're on an Irish kick today! I actually did pretty good on this fun quiz because I just read you last hub on St. Patrick. Erin go Bragh Habee!