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PARADE YOUR AMERICAN GREETINGS GREENERY ON THE 17TH

 PARADE YOUR AMERICAN GREETINGS GREENERY ON THE 17TH
 CLEVELAND, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- For some inexplicable reason,


the melting pot of the U.S. has wholeheartedly embraced the day commemorating the patron saint of Ireland. While only 18 percent of Americans can claim true Irish descent, the whole country celebrates St. Patrick's Day in a big way.
 Wearin' of the green has colored not only the 175 annual parade-side city streets, but it has permeated classrooms, offices and even the boardroom. According to Joanne Behnke, seasonal program manager for American Greetings, novelty items are especially popular on St. Patrick's Day. "American Greetings St. Pat's accessories allow adults and children alike to catch the spirit of the holiday," said Behnke. "It's convenient to pick up a bit of greenery for each member of the family during a routine shopping trip. From a distinctive green silk carnation boutonniere to outrageous green shamrock-shaped 'Groucho glasses,' there is something for everyone."
 For after parade merry-making, American Greetings "Blarney Boutique" conveniently offers one-stop shopping to completely outfit a green get-together.
 Sending St. Patty's Day greetings to family and friends is also on the rise. American Greetings estimates that more than 16 million cards will be exchanged this year, making St. Patrick's Day the ninth largest card-sending holiday of the year.
 Wherever you are on the 17th and whatever your style, American Greetings offers a host of greeting cards, party goods, decorations and wearable accessories to help you capture the luck o' the Irish this St. Patrick's Day.
 Headquartered in Cleveland, American Greetings Corporation is the world's largest publicly owned manufacturer and distributor of social expression products, with annual revenues in excess of $1.4 billion. American Greetings products can be found in leading supermarkets, drug stores and mass market retailers worldwide.
 St. Patrick's Day Facts
 The Irish Patron Saint -- St. Patrick is credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland. Born between 385 and 389 A.D., Patrick, from a Welsh village, was kidnapped at 16 by marauders and sold into slavery in Ireland. He escaped after six years and returned to his homeland. He was compelled to return to the land of his enslavement to share his Christian faith with the Irish pagans. St. Patrick's Day, March 17, commemorates the death of St. Patrick.
 Irish Greetings -- The celebration of St. Patrick's Day is growing in popularity across the U.S. According to American Greetings, it is now the ninth largest card-sending occasion of the year. More than 16 million St. Patrick's Day greetings are expected to be exchanged this year. That's enough cards for the combined populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas!
 Green Parades -- More than 175 St. Patrick's Day parades are held nationwide annually, with New York City hosting the largest.
 Wearin' O' The Green -- More novelty items are sold on St. Patrick's Day than any other holiday. According to Joanne Behnke, seasonal program manager for American Greetings, wearable accessories -- like green derby hats, shamrock bow ties and sleeve garters -- are especially popular.
 St. Patrick's Day In Ireland -- March 17 is not the exuberant occasion it is in the United States. There, it is primarily a religious holiday -- the start of a three-day period of devotion. The day's events are culminated annually with a St. Patrick's Day ball in Dublin Castle.
 The Legend Of The Shamrock -- Historians believe St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the concept of the trinity to his converts. According to Christian legend, the shamrock leaves represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, while the stem represents the Godhead itself.
 -0- 3/12/92
 /CONTACT: Sara Eames of American Greetings, 216-252-4947/ CO: American Greetings Corporation ST: Ohio IN: REA SU:


SM -- NYPFNS3 -- 7604 03/12/92 07:23 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Mar 12, 1992
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