Irish Trivia and Traditions:  Fun Facts and Activities to Express Your Irish Side!

Many people who think of Irish trivia and traditions think of leprechauns and shamrocks. Few know much more about this marvelous island or its population of roughly 5 million people.

Closeup image of Silken Tricolor Flag courtesy of Shutterstock.

But there is so much more to know! Ireland has one of the world's most interesting histories, and some of the most fun and fascinating customs.  Knowing some fun Ireland facts gives you so many options for expressing your personal Irish side!

Let us offer you a small sample of what makes Ireland such an interesting place.  Then we'll offer you 10 specific "Irish" customs to bring into your own life!  Let's start by finding out how much you already know!

Take a Fast, Fun Quiz

Ever wondered if you know 'enough' about Irish trivia and traditions?  Take our fun, free Quiz to find out!  

Every answer is in the form of a picture, so you get to 'see' a little bit of Ireland as you enjoy the quiz...

Then come back and brush up on the Irish trivia and fun Irish customs you would like to know more about, using the links below!

So - How Did You Do?

If you scored 80 or higher - congratulations!  You are a pro at expressing your Irish side in many different ways!

If your score was in the 60-70 range, you are well on your way!  Brush up on your knowledge below, and then take the quiz again if you like (you can enjoy it as often as you want).

If you scored 50 or less - well, you have definitely come to the right place! :-)

Now, ready to know more about Irish trivia and fun Irish customs?  Let's dig in!

Amazing Irish Trivia and Traditions: 21 Fun Facts

For example, did you know ...?

  1. Ireland is the world’s 20th largest island and the third largest in Europe
  2. Over 90% of the population of Ireland is Roman Catholic
  3. The golf links in county Mayo were made by hand. The farmers actually used rakes and other tools to carve these links out in 1987 to 1993.
  4. 4 Irish authors have won the Nobel Prize of literature.
  5. There are no known snakes living in Ireland. Now THAT is a useful bit of Irish trivia!
  6. The national emblem of the country is the Celtic Harp, not the shamrock as many believe. As an added bit of Irish trivia: no other country in the world has a musical instrument for their national emblem.
  7. The Irish learned how to distill spirits from monks that came to Ireland during the 7th century. This led to centuries later there being more than 400 different brands of Irish whiskey being exported to the USA (one of the Ireland facts that many enjoy whether they know it or not!)
  8. The RMS Titanic was constructed in Belfast, Ireland. Harland and Wolff had the job of building this famous ship. When she was finished she was the world's largest passenger ocean liner powered by steam.
  9. Some Irish people believe that only St Patrick will judge them on judgment day, while Christ will judge the people from the rest of the world.
  10. The famous Aran sweaters typically have family weaves as part of the work. This way when a fisherman drowns in a storm it is a way of identifying who they are.
  11. The White House in Washington, D.C. was designed by James Hoban, an architect who was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. He also designed the official residence for the president of the country of Ireland, Aras an Uachtarain.
  12. The Gardia which is the police force in Ireland are not armed. The detectives are the only ones that carry guns.
  13. The last known witch to live in Ireland is Dame Alice Kytler and she was born in Kilkenny in 1280.
  14. There are more cell phones in the country of Ireland than there are people. (Wow!)
  15. The founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, was of Irish descent.
  16. According to legend anyone kissing the popular Blarney Stone is given what is called "gift of gab". Thousands of people have kissed this stone over the centuries.
  17. It was not until 1997 that a divorce was granted in Ireland.
  18. In County Antrium, Ballygally Castle is now a hotel. It is believed that the castle is haunted by the ghost of Lady Isobel Shaw who jumped from an upper window to her death, after reportedly having been locked in her bedroom by her husband. Today, it is thought that her spirit will knock on the doors of the castle to make her presence known to the guests.
  19. Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was Irish.Saint Patrick's true name was Maewyn Succat.
  20. Real Irish dirt is even being sold on the Internet today along with shamrock seeds.  How's THAT for a bit of Irish trivia :-). 
  21. Cedric Gibbons designed the Oscar Trophy that is given out for the Academy Awards. He was born in 1823 in Dublin, Ireland.

Whew! Believe it or not we said that all in one breath! :-). 

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of ancient cemetery at Clonmacnoise Monastery.

10 Fun Irish Traditions

Now let's have a look at some Irish traditions, which you can use to express your own personal Irish side!

1. Irish Weddings

Irish Expressions:  Irish Weddings.  Image of Irish Wedding Cake courtesy of Shutterstock.

Irish weddings are a wonderful blend of older and newer Irish trivia and traditions.

A terrific opportunity to express your Irish side, wherever you are in the world!

We have witnessed many wedding experiences with Irish themes - and they are an experience to be treasured. 

Visit our main section on Irish Weddings.

2. Irish Dance

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of group dancing courtesy of Shutterstock.

Irish dancing, with its captivating beat and social energy, is sure to enchant you.

Dancing in Ireland has a long, rich history. Traditionally it was a way in which Irish friends and neighbors would meet at the crossroads of their village to spend a day and evening socializing.

Click here for more information on Irish dance.

3. Irish Birthdays

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of Irish birthday cupcakes courtesy of Shutterstock.

Many celebrations in Ireland are related to religion or to the cycle of the seasons. 

Birthdays in Ireland are a little different. We have only found a few birthday traditions uniquely associated with Ireland.  But they are fun ones!

Want to know more?  Click here for information on Irish birthday traditions.

4. St Patricks Day

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of man with mug of green beer courtesy of Shutterstock.

Saint Patricks Day traditions are some of the most famous (and the most fun!) opportunities to express our Irish sides. 

St Patricks Day is one of the main public holidays observed in Ireland, and while it doesn't quite reach that status in other parts of the world, many of us act as if it does!

Have a look at our main page on St Patricks Day traditions.

5. More Irish Holidays

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of child playing peekaboo with Easter egg courtesy of Shutterstock.

Celebrating Irish holidays gives us the perfect opportunity to express our Irish sides numerous times each year!

We try to bring at least one Irish expression into each of our holiday celebrations.  And from time to time, we will plan an entire holiday party around the theme of Irish trivia and traditions.

What to know more?  Click here for our main page on Irish holidays!

6. Irish Clothing

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of elderly man in tweed cap and Aran sweater courtesy of Shutterstock.

Of all the ways to express your Irish side, traditional Irish clothing may be the most personal and flexible.

Whether you choose clothing from Ireland in your wedding theme, or wear a humorous Irish t-shirt on St. Patrick's Day, the options for expressing your Irish side through clothing are endless.

Click here for more ideas on Irish clothing!

7. Irish Party Games

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of Irish maze gamecard courtesy of Shutterstock.

We love dreaming up entertaining ways to express our Irish sides, especially with groups of friends in social settings. 

Here we offer several games of the free / homemade variety, on many kinds of Irish trivia.  You can download them, print them, copy them to your heart’s content.

Having a St Patricks day party?  Entertain your guests with a Limerick Poems Game.

Or how about an Irish-themed birthday party?  Have your guests play an Irish Slang Words Match Game.

Visit us here for many more ideas on Irish Party games.

8. Irish Baby Names

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of baby feet courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you are a new parent looking for the best Irish baby names (boy or girl) we have good news!

Names originating in Ireland are popular worldwide. Sineads and Ronans are as likely to be found on the streets of Boston as they are on the streets of Dublin.

So what's in a name? It's the ultimate expression of your baby's heritage, a wonderful opportunity to express your cherished Irish culture every day.

Let's start with some of our favorite Irish baby names, then offer some ideas on how to use them to express your (baby's) Irish side.

Check out our main section on Irish baby names here!

9. Irish Sports

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of competitors on rugby pitch courtesy of Shutterstock.

When we watch or participate in traditional Irish sports, we experience the passion for hard work, social connection, and national pride that is so much a part of the culture.

You can feel it - in the pubs, in the stands, and in Irish homes around the world.

Want to know more about traditional Irish sports?  Visit that section here!

10. Irish Movies

Irish Expressions:  Irish Trivia and Traditions.  Image of Liam Neeson courtesy of Shutterstock.

Now Showing: The Irish in Cinema!!

In these Irish themed movies, you will observe a common thread – the Ould Sod (Old Country) itself is a major character in the story.

Let's have a look at some interesting facts and examples of terrific Irish themed movies.  Visit that section here!

Want Even More?

I hope you enjoyed our discussion of Irish trivia and traditions.  But now buckle up ... you KNOW there are many more fun Irish customs to enjoy.

By clicking one of the links below, you can check out all of the customs and activities that I have tried (and some that I have yet to try :-).

And yes, as you can tell... here at Irish Expressions, we do love Irish trivia and traditions :-)…  But that is not all.  Have a look!