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Page Two - Click here for Page One

• Johnny Cash wrote the popular song 'Forty Shades of Green'. The idea came to him as he looked down while flying over Ireland

• 300,000 Irishmen volunteered for the British forces between 1914 and 1918.

• A ciatog (kit-ogue) is a left-handed person.

• A currach is a small boat made of waterproof material.

• A horse is featured on the Irish 20-pence coin.

• A sliothar is the Irish word for the ball used in hurling.

• According to folklore, May Eve and May Day are considered the best days for gathering medicinal herbs.

• According to Irish custom, you sing a song at a wake and shed a tear at a birth.

• According to Irish folklore, if you take molasses melted in water, it will prevent varicose veins.

• According to old beliefs, the month of May was when people most feared abduction by the fairies? By the way, one should always use the term "the good people." According to the old ways, the terms fairies and little people are best avoided.

• An Irish Bull is a statement, the second part of which annuls the first.

• Between 1849 and 1920, Cobh in Co. Cork was known as Queenstown.

• Blarney, as defined by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, is flattery so thin we like it, as opposed to baloney which is flattery so thick it can't be true.

• Blue is Ireland's official color.

• Bono's real name is Paul Hewson.

• Boreen is the Irish word for a narrow lane.

• Bothar (with a fada over the o) is the Irish word for road.

• Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, was born in Dublin.

• Ceide Fields in Co. Mayo is the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world.

• Christ Church, Dublin contains the tomb of Strongbow, the leader of the Norman invasion in the 1170s.

• Coddle is the traditional dish eaten in Dublin on a Saturday night.

• Connor was the most popular name given to boys born in the Republic of Ireland during 1999.

• Cork is Ireland's largest county.

• County Clare is known as the Banner County.

• County Cork is known as The Rebel County.

• Cowslip blossoms were used as a nerve tonic.

• Daniel O'Connell was the first Catholic Lord Mayor of Dublin.

• Despite its association with the national saint, Croagh Patrick in County Mayo has been a holy mountain since pagan times.

• Dividing the Meat, Selling the Pig and Catching the Herrings are all traditional games played at an Irish wake.

• Dublin's first cinema, the Volta, opened in 1909.

• Dulse is an edible Irish seaweed.

• Each year, it's traditional for an Irish leader to visit the White House during March.

• Eamon de Valera was born in New York.

• Except for bogs and mountain areas, oak forests once covered all of Ireland.

• Flann O'Brien and Myles na gCopaleen were both pseudonyms of the writer Brian O'Nolan.

• Galore is derived from the Irish words go leor (big enough).

• God Save Ireland was once the National Anthem.

• Handel's Messiah made its debut in Dublin on April 13, 1742.

• Hy Brasil is the name of a legendary isle off west the coast of Ireland that is visible only every seven years? Its Irish name is Beg Ara - you don't suppose that's where we get the stage-Irish word Begorrah? Hmm.

• If Ireland's dry stone walls were lined up, they would stretch for a quarter of a million miles.

• If you're bashful or shy, Irish folklore says you should take a dip in the River Shannon.

• In 1147, Ó Caiside composed Banshenchas (The Lore of Woman), which is a list of famous married women in ancient Irish history and literature.

• In 1969, Bernadette Devlin became the youngest woman ever elected to the British House of Commons.

• In ancient Ireland, acorns were the natural food of free-range pigs.

• In Irish legend and history, there were five provinces? The Irish word for province is cúige or fifth.

• In Northern Ireland, Turkey is the most popular Christmas dinner.

• In the fourth chapter of Ulysses, Leopold prepares kidneys for his breakfast.

• In the legend of the Fianna, the Land of Eternal Youth was Tír Na Nóg.

• Ireland's Eye is a small island north of Howth in County Dublin.

• Irish pubs are closed on Christmas day.

• Irish tenor, John McCormack, became an American citizen in 1917.

• It rains two out of three days in southwestern areas of Ireland which gives an annual average of 270 rainy days? (Ah, but you knew that, right?)

• It's considered very unlucky to get married on the feast of the Holy Innocents - December 28th.

• James Hoban, a native of Kilkenny, designed the White House.

• Jonathan Swift is buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

• Kerry is known as The Kingdom.

• Many great American folk heroes were Irish? Among them are Sam Houston, whose family came from Co. Antrim and Davy Crockett, who was the son of an immigrant family from Derry.

• Meas is the Irish word for respect.

• Meath was the fifth province? Meath, meaning middle, was located in the center of the country.

• Melted mutton fat rubbed into chapped hands will cure them.

• More than 20 species of whales are said to visit Irish waters.

• Munster Plums are potatoes.

• Murphy & Kelly are the most common Irish surnames.

• Nine men of Irish ancestry signed the Declaration of Independence.

• On April 13th, 1820, the Catholic Emancipation Act was passed? This allowed Catholic men to enter Parliament and hold civil and military office if they could afford to pay the poll tax.

• On New Year's Eve, it's lucky to receive a lump of coal from a black-haired stranger.

• Only about 4% of Irish people have red hair.

• Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore - a Galway man - composed 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home'.

• President Richard Nixon owned an Irish setter called King Timahoe, which was named for his ancestral home in Co. Laois.

• Queen Elizabeth I is credited with first using the word "blarney"?.

• Queen Elizabeth I founded Trinity College in 1592.

• Queen Victoria became known as the "Famine Queen" because she personally donated 2,000 pounds in aid of Irish relief during the 1840s (a fortune at the time).

• Sir Walter Raleigh is reputed to have planted potatoes in Youghal Co, Cork, in 1585.

• Smiling Murphies are potatoes that are floury when boiled.

• Smithereens is derived from the Irish word smithiríní.

• Spiced Beef is traditionally served on St. Stephen's Day - December 26th.

• St. Lawrence O'Toole was Ireland's first canonized saint.

• St. Patrick is the patron saint of fishermen.

• St. Patrick's Day is a legal holiday in Briarwood Beech, Ohio, USA.

• Steeplechasing was invented by two fiercely competitive men from Co. Cork in 1752.

• The ancient Celts believed mistletoe possessed miraculous healing powers and held the soul of the host tree.

• The Brazen Head on Bridge Street in Dublin is the oldest licenced pub in Ireland? (licensed since the mid 17th century.)

• The city of Belfast held its first St. Patrick's Day parade in 1998.

• The Curragh in Co. Kildare has been a center of Irish horse-racing since the 17th century.

• The American Declaration of Independence document itself was handwritten by Irish-born Charles Thomson and printed by another Irishman, John Dunlap.

• The door of Bloom's house - 7 Eccles Street - is now located in the Bailey Pub.

• The earliest settlers are reputed to have arrived in Ireland in 6000BC.

• The first Irish saint wasn't Saint Patrick? It was Saint Abban, who preached in Southern England in the 2nd century.

• The first St. Patrick's Day celebration in America was in 1737 and was hosted by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston.

• The game "Camogie" is the girl's version of Hurling.

• The greatest length of Ireland, from North to South, is 302 miles.

• The Irish revolutionary, Constance Gore-Booth Markiewicz, was also the first Irish aviator.

• The Irish word for Parliament - Dáil - is derived from the word for tribe or land inhabited by a tribe.

• The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia, Co. Galway.

• The lyrics to the Christmas Carol, "While shepherds watched their flocks by night" were written by Dublin-born poet and playwright, Nathum Tate.

• The movie Moby Dick was filmed in Ireland.

• The mute swan is Ireland's largest breeding species.

• The origin of "the good people" is that they were the ancient Irish gods who were driven underground by Christianity.

• The original names for O'Connell Street in Dublin were Drogheda Street and Sackville Street.

• The picture of Jonathan Swift appears on the old Irish ten-pound banknot.

• The picture of W. B Yeats appears on the old Irish twenty-pound banknote.

• The pub visited by Leopold Bloom in Ulysses still exists? It's Davy Byrne's on Duke Street.

• The púca (pooka) is a mischievous member of the spirit world who often takes the form of a horse.

• The Republic of Ireland has well over 10,000 pubs.

• The reputed origin of the Blarney Stone is that it is Jacob's Pillow brought from the Holy Land after the Crusades.

• The Spanish reputedly brought garlic and onions to Ireland.

• The state of Maine, USA, with an area of 33,215 square miles, is closest in size to the Emerald Isle.

• The term Fenian is derived from the legendary band of warriors, the Fianna.

• The Vikings founded Dublin in 988.

• The word "slogan" means war cry in Irish.

• The years between 700 and 900 AD are often called The Golden Age of Ireland.

• There are fifteen players on a Gaelic football team.

• There are no moles in Ireland.

• To ensure good health, you should drink three sips of salted water before Christmas dinner.

• To relieve a sore throat, you should chew a clove of garlic.

• Tommy Makem wrote the popular traditional song, Four Green Fields.

• Two Irish women, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, won the Pulitzer Price for Peace in 1977 for their efforts to stop the violence in Northern ireland.

• Victor Herbert, who composed Babes in Toyland, was born in Dublin.

• W. B Yeats dedicated most of his love poetry to Maude Gonne.

• Wearing new shoes on Christmas day will bring bad luck.

• Whipped egg whites with sugar added will cure an upset stomach.

Page Two - Click here for Page One

 

Thu, Dec 7, 2017

Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*

Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.



Click for More Culture Corner.





The Irish Quiz Book
by Joe Black

Written by a one-time quiz show consultant and lifelong collector of Irish trivia, this book offers questions on sport, history, politics, literature, and all kinds of Irish miscellany. Organized by subject matter with 134 sections in groups of 15 questions, it's ideal for trivia buffs and Irish aficionados. The diverse questions offer something for everyone from "Why is Bloomsday so called?" and "What was a 'Galway Hooker'?" to "Who was termed the 'Babe Ruth' of Gaelic football?"
Click here for Quiz Book.


Irish American Pub Quiz Book
by Liam McAtasney

Don't be misled by the title - this isn't a book about Irish American pubs. It's a trivia book about Irish Americans and, in our humble opinion, it would be a fun little volume to have with you the next time you're bending your elbow with the lads.
Click for Pub Quiz Book.

 

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March 4, 2011
   
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