Do you know just exactly how leprechauns are associated with St. Patrick’s Day? We celebrate certain holidays but we may not know where every idea and aspect of the holiday stem from. In this case, I wanted to know how leprechauns came into the picture…
How do you perceive leprechuans? The mean looking one on the left or Lucky from Lucky Charms Cereal on the right?
St. Patricks’s day, March 17, is an Irish holiday that honors St. Patrick. Leprechauns, little Irish fairies, are also associated with this holiday in Irish mythology and folklore. They are sometimes called the “wee folk”. Leprechauns were originally depicted as grumpy little old men only about 2 feet tall. They had pointed ears and beady little eyes. They were said to live in large grassy hills and forests. They were shoe makers and dressed with a hat and a leather apron. According to Irish legend, leprechauns were not very friendly. They lived alone and spent most of their time making shoes. Now the interesting thing about leprechauns is that each of them were said to possess a hidden pot of gold. Leprechauns must always be on guard because as they are making their shoes, the noise of their hammer leads greedy people to them to try to take their pot of gold away.
If a leprechaun is caught, he can be forced to reveal where his pot of gold is hidden. But leprechauns are not easy to catch because they are so fast. And once caught, the captor must keep an eye on the leprechaun at all times or else the leprechaun would vanish and hopes of finding the pot of gold would be gone. Leprechauns were notorious for tricking their captors into looking away so they could vanish and save their pot of gold.
Leprechauns are also said to be very good musicians. They played some of the traditional Irish instruments including tin whistles and the Irish harp. It is said that leprechauns had wild music sessions at night. During these sessions, leprechauns would gather about to dance and sing and drink. The sessions might go on all night. They like to drink Poteen, moonshine. Now the cluricauns are Irish cousins to the leprechauns. The cluricauns are drunken little creatures who wreak havoc at nighttime. Leprechauns and cluricauns are totally different, according to Irish mythology. And leprechauns do not like to be mistaken as cluricauns. In a word, cluricauns are trouble makers.
The cheerful leprechaun that we know today is mostly an American invention that goes well with our celebrations on St. Patrick’s Day. Eat, drink, and be merry. Drink all the green beer you can! Shoot the blarney! Sing Irish songs! Have a good time! After all, who wants grumpy little old men running around ruining the fun?