Irish culture expert Stephen Breen says people in Ireland go to big parades, wear green and drink green beer just like many Americans on St. Patricks Day, but apparently thats where the similarities end.
He says no one pinches each other for not wearing green in Ireland, but admits, Its something we could certainly integrate.
While Americans might think a shamrock button is cute, Breen says the shamrock used to be a symbol of rebellion, adding, Anyone wearing it risked death by hanging.
Even leprechauns are different in Ireland. Irish folklore describes them as a crabby, disgruntled workers forced to repair fairies shoes all day, as opposed to the cheerful Lucky Charms character most Americans know and love.
And speaking of Lucky Charms, Breen admits hes never tried the cereal because they dont make it in Ireland. While in New York this weekend, he promises, Im going to go and look for it.
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