- A false stereotype 5. One and the same name
- An unlucky symbol 6. The national food
- A colourful present 7. A talisman for luck
- A world famous journey 8. Old holiday traditions
A. When you think of the Irish, you often picture a red-haired person dressed all in green. However, it’s just a popular myth which has grown into a tradition, particularly in the United States. It’s customary in Ireland to wear green clothes only on St. Patrick’s Day. Lots of people are tricked by this cliche. However, originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was not green, but blue.
B. In Ireland, the colour green was long considered to bring bad fortune. The reason is that in Irish folklore green is the favourite color of the Good People (the proper name for fairies). Myths run that they are likely to steal people, especially children, who wear too much of the colour. In the past, a girl would never wear anything green on her wedding day.
C. Christmas is a very important celebration in Ireland. After dinner on Christmas Eve, it is common for families to leave milk and bread on the table as a sign of friendliness and kindness. Another custom is to leave the door unlocked. A lit candle is left in a window during the night. It represents help for any traveller who is passing by.
D. Potatoes form the basis for many traditional Irish dishes. They are eaten boiled,mashed, fried, baked, you name it. Potatoes are mixed with cabbage or green onions to make traditional Irish dishes. They are also made into potato cakes and used in soups or stews. It’s common to find potatoes cooked in two different ways on the same dinner plate.
E. The shamrock is still a popular sign of good fortune in Ireland. It is believed that anyone who possesses one will be blessed with fortune in everything, even in gambling, and will be saved from the evil of witches. There are certain conditions to be met so that its power remains effective: the owner of the shamrock must keep it away from the public eye and never give it to anyone else.
F. The name Gulliver is known to everyone due to the book or the film about the fantastic trip of the English doctor. However, not all of us remember the name of the author — Jonathan Swift, an Irish writer, who was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1667. In his book Gulliver’s Travels a man went to an island where strange tiny people lived. His life there was full of adventures and dangers, he met there friends and enemies.
G. Ireland is known as the native land of limericks — short humorous poems that have five lines. They make people laugh and are easy to remember! Lots of poets and writers were fond of limericks. The word “limerick” probably comes from the Irish town of Limerick. The short poem has made the town known all over the world.