Quiz about Its a Jolly Holiday in March
Quiz about Its a Jolly Holiday in March

It's a Jolly Holiday in March Trivia Quiz


Here's a grab bag of March holidays from around the world - religious feast days, secular commemorations, and (I hope) a sprinkle of fun. Enjoy the second in my series of holidays by the month.

A multiple-choice quiz by gracious1. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
gracious1
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
359,098
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
11 / 15
Plays
658
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. We'll begin with a holiday celebrated on March 1, the feast day of the patron saint of Wales. Who is that? Hint

St. Patrick
St. George
St. David
St. Andrew

2. In Switzerland they observe a particular event known as Tag der Kranken, (or Journée des Malades or Giornata del Malato). A physician founded this holiday to improve the relations between the sick and the healthy, and to make the sure the needs of the sick are met. What would the name of this holiday be in English? Hint

Day of the Cranky
Dawn of the Dead
Day of the Ill
Journey of the Melodies

3. In the USA, March is "Women's History Month", but before that there was (and still is) International Women's Day on March 8. To what do we attribute the origin of this particular observance? Hint

Neither of these
Labor movements
Both of these
United Nations

4. March 12 is a special day for many Americans because it is the founding day of one of the largest and best-known multicultural and non-sectarian organizations for girls and young women in the USA. Which one? Hint

Camp Fire
Girl Scouts of the USA
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Young Women's Christian Association

5. On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution making March 14 the observance day of what mathematical constant? (Hint: consider American dating conventions.) Hint

c (speed of light)
pi
phi
e (Euler's number)

6. The American Library Association is particularly keen on Freedom of Information Day. It falls on the birthday of which U.S. President, known as the "Father of the Constitution" and the architect of the Bill of Rights (which amended the U.S. Constitution to add civil liberties for individuals and put certain limits on the Federal Government)? Hint

John Adams
James Madison
Millard Fillmore
Zachary Taylor

7. March is the month of freedom! A number of African nations celebrate their independence day in March. Some celebrate their liberation from European powers, but one celebrates its independence from South Africa! Which one? Hint

Tunisia
Namibia
Ghana
Mauritius

8. The first day of spring in the Northen Hemisphere (the vernal equinox) is a day when many cultures recognize a special holiday. In India, what riotous Hindu festival, now rather secularized and popular among all Indians, is celebrated on this first day of spring?

Hint

Mahatma Gandhi's Brithday (Gandhi Jayanti)
Nine Nights (Navaratri)
Festival of Colors (Holi or Phagwah)
Festival of Lights (Devali or Diwali)

9. Is National Quilting Day the third Saturday in March in the U.S.A.?

Yes
No

10. A certain festival occurs between the 15th and 21st days of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which means occasionally it falls in March in the Gregorian calendar (and usually around Eastertide). It commemorates Moses liberating the Israelites from ancient Egypt. Which holiday would that be? Hint

Pentecost (Shavuot)
Passover (Pesach)
Feast of Booths (Sukkot)
Feast of Lots (Purim)

11. Easter, the highest holy day in the Christian liturgical calendar, sometimes falls in April and sometimes falls in March. By the Gregorian calendar, what is the EARLIEST date it could fall? Hint

March 24
March 21
March 22
March 23

12. In the island country of Nippon, faithful Buddhists mark the beginning of spring with the custom of visiting their ancestors' graves. How is Nippon better known in English-speaking countries?

Answer: (one word - Land of the Rising Sun)
13. A confounding of the translation of "Our Lady's Day" meant that a Christian holy day in Sweden was transformed from the veneration of the Virgin Mary to the indulgence of what breakfast food? Hint

Hash browns
Waffles
Pop-Tarts
Grits

14. National Doctors' Day in the United States is on March 30, the anniversary of the the first time ether was successfully used during surgery in that country. True or false?

True
False

15. Could I let a March holiday quiz end without a question on St. Patrick's Day? Millions and millions of people of Irish descent celebrate this day (along with millions who were never Irish!) Where can we find the largest St. Patrick's Day parade day in the world?

Hint

Dublin, Ireland
Savannah, Georgia, USA
Sydney, Australia
New York, New York, USA


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. We'll begin with a holiday celebrated on March 1, the feast day of the patron saint of Wales. Who is that?

Answer: St. David

In Wales, St. David's Day is a solemnity, meaning a feast day of the highest rank. In religious iconography, individual saints are usually identified by some sort of prop, and in St. David's case a dove sits on his shoulder. He is also the patron saint specifically of Pembrokeshire (in Wales), not to mention poets and vegetarians. In Cardiff a grand parade is held, often with the Prince of Wales in attendance. Children throughout Wales sing in school concerts called "eisteddfodau", and adults wear the a leek or a daffodil on their lapels, and everyone eats cawl, a traditional soup. Interestingly, Disneyland Paris holds a Welsh-themed week around the time of St David's Day, when the Disney characters wear traditional Welsh costumes.

SS. George, Andrew, and Patrick are the patron saints of England, Scotland, and Ireland, respectively. St. Patrick shares his honor with SS. Brigid and Columba.
2. In Switzerland they observe a particular event known as Tag der Kranken, (or Journée des Malades or Giornata del Malato). A physician founded this holiday to improve the relations between the sick and the healthy, and to make the sure the needs of the sick are met. What would the name of this holiday be in English?

Answer: Day of the Ill

Dr. Marthe Nicati, a specialist in tuberculosis, established the Day of the Ill in 1939 to improve conditions for both the sick and their caretakers, to educate the healthy on the needs of those suffering from long-term illness, and to acknowledge the work of caretakers, professional and volunteer. Every year has a different theme.

In 2004, for instance, the focus was on family members caring for aging or dying family members. In 2013, the motto was "Vom Stress des Krankseins", or "[Regarding] the stress of being ill".

It's actually not a grim but very festive day. On the first Sunday in March, the President makes a speech, and the Swiss people make special visits to hospitals and nursing homes, where special events may be held.
3. In the USA, March is "Women's History Month", but before that there was (and still is) International Women's Day on March 8. To what do we attribute the origin of this particular observance?

Answer: Both of these

International Women's Day (IWD) has an interesting history. National Woman's Day had been observed in the USA by women's labor groups in the US between 1909 and 1913. After that date, Russian women began celebrating Women's Day on March 8, and since then that has been the traditional date worldwide, though receiving no official recognition for decades.

In 1977, the UN General Assembly proclaimed a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace, on a date to be chosen by each member nation-state. (Most nations picked the traditional March 8).

In some countries, IWD is rather like the U.S. Mother's Day, whereas in others it retains a political urgency. In 2013 the UN released its first ever IWD song, "One Woman", downloadable from the UN Women website.
4. March 12 is a special day for many Americans because it is the founding day of one of the largest and best-known multicultural and non-sectarian organizations for girls and young women in the USA. Which one?

Answer: Girl Scouts of the USA

Juliette Gordon "Daisy" Low created the Girl Scouts in 1912, to provide girls with opportunities for spiritual, mental, and physical development. (She was inspired by Lady Olave Baden-Powell, who had founded the Girl Guides in the UK.) From a mere eighteen girls in Savannah, Georgia, the GSUSA grew to a membership of 3.2 million during its first hundred years! They don't just sell cookies; Girl Scouts are involved in service projects, outdoor fun, and educational programs.

By the way, Camp Fire Girls, founded in 1910 (two years before the Girl Scouts), became co-ed and renamed themselves Camp Fire USA in 1975.
5. On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution making March 14 the observance day of what mathematical constant? (Hint: consider American dating conventions.)

Answer: pi

March 14 = 3/14 or 3.14 in the day-month notation, the first 3 digits of pi, get it? In 1988, mathematician Larry Shaw organized the first Pi Day observance at the San Francisco Exploratorium, and the idea caught on. Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, a very important constant in mathematics that has been calculated to over a trillion digits beyond the decimal point. MIT traditionally posts its acceptance letters on Pi Day. Coincidentally, it is also Albert Einstein's birthday.

An alternative celebration is Pi Approximation Day on 22 July, as pi is approximated by the fraction 22/7 (the 22nd of July, see?)
6. The American Library Association is particularly keen on Freedom of Information Day. It falls on the birthday of which U.S. President, known as the "Father of the Constitution" and the architect of the Bill of Rights (which amended the U.S. Constitution to add civil liberties for individuals and put certain limits on the Federal Government)?

Answer: James Madison

March 16, 1751 is the birthdate of James Madison, fourth president of the U.S.A. Among other achievements, he authored and campaigned for the Bill of Rights. The American Library Association, a defender of freedom of speech, the right to privacy, and other civil liberties, presents awards on FOI day "to those individuals or groups that have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public's right to know." Since a Congressional Joint Resolution established FOI Day in 1989, libraries around the country have commemorated not only Madison's birthday but also the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, which gives American citizens access to government files and documents.
7. March is the month of freedom! A number of African nations celebrate their independence day in March. Some celebrate their liberation from European powers, but one celebrates its independence from South Africa! Which one?

Answer: Namibia

Namibia, a Sub-Saharan African nation bordering the Atlantic Ocean, declared its independence from South Africa on March 21, 1990. Long before the Europeans came the Bantu had settled there in the 1300s. Eventually, Namibia became a German protectorate from 1884 until 1920, when the League of Nations mandated it to South Africa (which imposed apartheid after World War II). By 1971, the UN had revoked South Africa's mandate, and the International Court of Justice had declared South Africa's occupation illegal, but it would be two decades before South Africa would finally withdraw from Namibia.

The others declared their independence as follows:
- Tunisia - March 20, 1956 - from France
- Ghana - March 6, 1957 - from the UK
- Mauritius - March 12, 1968 - from the UK

By the way, Greece celebrates its independence day March 25, Bangladesh on March 26, and Bulgaria's Liberation Day is March 3. March truly is the month of freedom around the world!
8. The first day of spring in the Northen Hemisphere (the vernal equinox) is a day when many cultures recognize a special holiday. In India, what riotous Hindu festival, now rather secularized and popular among all Indians, is celebrated on this first day of spring?

Answer: Festival of Colors (Holi or Phagwah)

Other names are Dol Jatra or Basantotsav ("spring festival"), and many, many more. Holi is connected with the story of Lord Shiva slaying Kamadeva, and also with the myth of Holika, the sister of King Hiranyakashipu who refused to kill his son Prahlad when ordered to and rescued the lad from a fire. Be careful when in India at the time of Holi; strangers will dump colors called "gulal" on you, and maybe do other surprising things! In fact a lot of the holiday's religiosity has fallen by the wayside, replaced with drunkenness and vulgarity! Many of the Hindu rules of pollution are suspended during this time as well.

A person can do almost anything and then excuse himself by saying "Bura na mano, Holi hai", or "Never mind, it's Holi!"
9. Is National Quilting Day the third Saturday in March in the U.S.A.?

Answer: Yes

That is the official as established by the National Quilting Association in 1991. Each year, the NQA presents a different theme, and members make quilts from a designated in service of various causes. In 2009, the theme was "Welcome Home", to acknowledge the mortgage foreclosure crisis, and members donated quilts to homeless shelters and other agencies serving the displaced. In 2010, the theme was "Let's tie one on... FOR THE TROOPS!" and NQA members were encouraged to make and donate quilts with the year's chosen pattern to VA hospitals, military bases, and to families of soldiers sent overseas.

[Source: the NQA website]
10. A certain festival occurs between the 15th and 21st days of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which means occasionally it falls in March in the Gregorian calendar (and usually around Eastertide). It commemorates Moses liberating the Israelites from ancient Egypt. Which holiday would that be?

Answer: Passover (Pesach)

Pesach or Passover is one of three pilgrimage festivals, the others being Shavuot and Sukkot, which historically meant that Jews traveled to the Temple in the Jerusalem and made sacrifice. In modernity, Jews celebrate Pesach with joyous Seders, or ritual feasts. (Male Samaritans, however, still journey to Mount Gerizim and sacrifice a cow.) In Israel, the Festival of Unleavened Bread, as it is also called, is a seven-day holiday, with businesses closed on the first and last days.

To be more specific, Passover commemorates the passing of the Angel of Death over the households that smeared lamb's blood on their doorways, in accordance with God's instructions. The faithful Israelites who did this did not lose their firstborn in the Tenth Plague on Egypt. After that plague, Pharaoh was no longer hard-hearted, as he had lost his son, and he let the Israelites go to the Promised Land. Read about it in Exodus (or failing that, watch "The Ten Commandments"). Jews eat unleavened bread during Passover because the fleeing ancient Israelites had to eat in a hurry and couldn't wait for their bread to rise.
11. Easter, the highest holy day in the Christian liturgical calendar, sometimes falls in April and sometimes falls in March. By the Gregorian calendar, what is the EARLIEST date it could fall?

Answer: March 22

Generally speaking, the date of Easter was set by the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox of the Northern Hemisphere. (Did you follow that?) If you don't know what a "vernal equinox" is, think "first day of Spring". By the Gregorian calendar, the earliest possible date, then, would be March 22. This happened in 1761 and 1818; it won't happen again until 2285.

By the way, Down Under and elsewhere below the Equator, Christians celebrate Easter according to the reckoning above, even though the Northern vernal equinox is the Southern autumnal equinox.
12. In the island country of Nippon, faithful Buddhists mark the beginning of spring with the custom of visiting their ancestors' graves. How is Nippon better known in English-speaking countries?

Answer: Japan

Higan ("ÞSÝ) means "the other side of the Sanzu River", which is a poetic Buddhist way of referring to the achievement of Enlightenment. (It is not unlike the Judeo-Christian reference of crossing over the Jordan River to the Promised Land to refer to Heaven). Japan is the only country that celebrates this particular Buddhist holiday, and it does so at both equinoxes of the year.

The holiday actually lasts seven days, including three days before and three days after the first day of spring (or autumn). During this time, the faithful comfort their ancestors' spirits and renew their commitment to Buddhist teaching and practice. Often the holiday is referred to as "O-Higan" (the prefix being a way to show respect or express politeness in Japanese).
13. A confounding of the translation of "Our Lady's Day" meant that a Christian holy day in Sweden was transformed from the veneration of the Virgin Mary to the indulgence of what breakfast food?

Answer: Waffles

March 25 is the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady, also known as Lady Day or Our Lady's Day, which in Swedish is Vårfrudagen. Somehow, this got misunderstood as Våffeldagen, or Waffle Day. So a Christian feast day for St. Mary became a day of Christians (and other Swedes) feasting on waffles. Stranger things have happened. And now, it is how Swedes celebrate the beginning of spring. Furthermore, in parts of Minnesota, U.S.A., where there are lots of Americans of Swedish descent, Våffeldagen is a major event. Happy Waffle Day (and pass the syrup)!
14. National Doctors' Day in the United States is on March 30, the anniversary of the the first time ether was successfully used during surgery in that country. True or false?

Answer: True

Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, Georgia, administered ether to his patient (from whom he removed a neck tumor) on March 30, 1842. It was a success; the patient survived and reported he never felt a thing during the operation. A year short of the sesquicentennial of that occasion, President George Bush (the elder) proclaimed the first National Doctors' Day in 1991. In his proclamation, Bush mentioned famous physicians, such as Jonas Salk Charles Drew, and gave special attention to doctors in Operation Desert Storm as well -- but he failed to mention Dr. Long! The holiday was first observed, however, in 1933 in Winder, Georgia by Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond. She mailed greeting cards and lay red carnations, now the holiday's official flower, on doctors' graves.

Other countries have a Doctors' Day, but on different days. Cuba's is on December 3, the birthday of yellow fever specialist Dr. Carlos Juan Findlay, whilst India's is on July 1, the birthday of Dr. Bidham Chandra Roy.
15. Could I let a March holiday quiz end without a question on St. Patrick's Day? Millions and millions of people of Irish descent celebrate this day (along with millions who were never Irish!) Where can we find the largest St. Patrick's Day parade day in the world?

Answer: New York, New York, USA

St. Patrick's Day is as American as apple pie. As a Catholic holiday, St. Patrick's Day was first observed in the American colonies in 1737 by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. In 1766, Irish soldiers marched through the streets of Manhattan in honor of their patron saint; this was New York City's first Saint Patrick's Day parade. During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington gave his troops, many of whom had Irish ancestry, a holiday on March 17, known as the Saint Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780. Savannah, Georgia has yet to match New York City's parade, but the Southern city's weeklong celebration tries to outdo New York in everything else. Savannah and many other U.S. municipalities dye their water supply green for the occasion.
Source: Author gracious1

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