St. Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to celebrate, whether or not you're Irish. Though the holiday began as a Catholic feast day, it's become a secular celebration of Irish culture.
People all over the world celebrate on the 17th day of March in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
You may wear green, watch the parade in Washington on Sunday or enjoy a plate of corned beef and cabbage and a green beer, but what do you really know about the holiday’s history?
Try this quiz:
1. In what U.S. city was the first St. Patrick’s Day parade?
2. What three colors make up the Irish flag?
3. What miracle is attributed to St. Patrick?
4. What does the shamrock symbolize?
5. How many U.S. states have a town named Shamrock?
6. What are your odds of finding a four-leaf clover?
7. Where are some of the best places in Loudoun County to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
1. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in 1737 in Boston. The largest parade is in New York City, which began in 1762.
2. Green, white, orange. Green symbolizes people of the south; orange, people of the north. White represents the peace that brings them together as a nation.
3. A popular myth is that Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland into the Irish Sea, but snakes have never been native to the Emerald Isle.
4. Legend credits St. Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by using the three-leafed shamrock to represent the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
5. Four states have towns named Shamrock: Shamrock, Texas; Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va.; Shamrock Lakes, Ind.; Shamrock, Okla.
6. According to tradition, four-leaf clovers bring good luck, but your chances of finding the uncommon variation are one in 10,000.
7. Here are some local spots where you can join in the festivities all day March 17:
Ashburn Pub St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. 7 a.m. – 2 a.m. 44410 Ashburn Shopping Plaza, Ashburn. 703-724-0755. http://www.Theashburnpub.com
Spanky’s Pub St. Patrick’s Day event. 7 a.m. – 2 a.m. Special menu and live music all day. 538 East Market St., Leesburg. 703-777-2454. http://www.Spankyspub.net
Finnegans Leesburg St. Patrick’s Day. 9 a.m. – 2 a.m. Finnegans, 1308 Village Market Blvd, Leesburg. 703-771-2333. http://www.Finnegansirishbar.com/leesburg
Also. visit Ashburn, Herndon and Tysons Corner locations
O’Faolain’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. 8 a.m. – 2 am. Live entertainment all day, dinner by reservation only. 20921 Davenport Drive, Sterling. 703-444-9796. http://www.ofaolains.com
The Greene Turtle Dulles St. Patrick’s Day. Noon – 11 p.m. Live music all day. 21035 Dulles Town Circle, Sterling. 703-421-0676. http://www.Thegreeneturtle.com
Also. visit the Leesburg location.
The Q Company. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Live music. 17 Catoctin Circle SE, Leesburg. 703-777-8767. http://www.Qcompany.com
King’s Tavern & Wine Bar. 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. 19 S. King St., Leesburg. http://www.Kingstavernandwinebar.com
MacDowell Brew Kitchen. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. 202B Harrison St., SE, Leesburg. 703-777-2739. http://www.Macdowellbrewkitchen.com
Lansdowne Tavern. 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. 19286 Promenade Drive, Lansdowne. 571-333-1973. http://www.Lansdownetavern.com
Bar Louie St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Party. 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. – 2 a.m. Sunday. 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Monday. Sat/Sun: Tent outside, bands, drink specials. For Sunday’s party, buy advance $10 ticket at Bar Louie, receive a t-shirt and enjoy buffet breakfast from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 20586 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn. http://www.Barlouieamerica.com