Everything you need to know about the Irish leprechaun

One of the most popular and beloved good luck symbols is the leprechaun. This good luck symbol is associated with St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland. Leprechauns are a kind of fairy that resembles an old man of about two feet tall.

According to legend, leprechauns are unfriendly and aloof. They make shoes and live alone.

Leprechauns can be nasty, lustful, capricious creatures whose magic might impress you a lot, but kill you if you fail to please them.

Previously, leprechauns wore red clothing, but that changed in the 20th century. Now, they are dressed in green, as most people know them these days.

Read on to discover all there is to know about the Irish leprechaun.

Are leprechauns real?

There are many trails that will give you the chance to glimpse the little people when you visit.
Credit: Facebook / @nationalleprechaunhunt

The leprechaun is a character of Irish mythology. However, according to the old Irish tales, the leprechaun is real and first spotted way back in the 700s.

Various kinds of stories about this mischief-maker have been passed on from one generation to the next. 

As far as the name goes, some people assume that the word ‘leprechaun’ is derived from the Irish word ‘luchorpan’. This word means a person with a small body.

Others believe that the word originated from another Irish word that represents a shoemaker. 

Legend has it that leprechauns are excellent shoemakers and they make footwear for the fairies. They are quite tricky to find because they are not social creatures. They tend to live in remote areas and under the ground. 

Whenever you hear a faint tapping sound around the countryside, a leprechaun may be making a shoe.

The small Irish person dressed in green gained popularity and publicity after Darby O’Gill and the Little People, an Irish movie that was released in 1959.

Leprechauns and pots of gold

Pots of gold can be found at the end of the rainbow belonging to the little people.
A rainbow over Cahir Castle in County Tipperary

As it appears, shoemaking is a lucrative business in the fairy world. Each leprechaun is believed to have a pot of gold that can be found only at the end of a rainbow. Leprechauns are quite wealthy.

They stash their money for safekeeping. 

Humans are on an eternal quest to find their hidden treasure. Some legends claim that these small people have a deep liking for all kinds of treasures humans have buried in the ground.

Leprechauns claim the hidden wealth if they somehow find it. 

According to the old folklore, leprechauns tend to hide pots of gold in a place where the rainbow ends. Now, that’s a perfect place for these little creatures because it is simply impossible to discover. 

Leprechauns grant three wishes

The Irish leprechaun is known to gran three wishes to those who capture them.

Although it is hard to capture a leprechaun, he can get away without much effort because he has something up his sleeve. If you have enough luck – or the “luck of the Irish” – and somehow manage to catch a leprechaun, he will bargain to be set free. 

The most common legend is that when you catch a leprechaun, he grants you three wishes. In fact, this is what they trade their freedom for. However, be cautious about what you wish for.

Legend has it that a man once wished to become the king of a tropical island. And, his wish came true immediately. He was on a deserted tropical island all by himself.

The mischievous leprechaun

The Irish leprechaun is known to be mischievous and to be roguish tricksters.
Irish Character / Leprechaun Toasting with a Pint of Beer

Leprechauns are very smart, but these little creatures are roguish tricksters and cannot be trusted. They tend to deceive whenever possible.

In one story, a young lad was able to get hold of a leprechaun. The lad refused to let the leprechaun go without revealing the place where the treasure was hidden.

Finding no other way out, the leprechaun chooses to comply with the lad. 

He directed the lad to go very deep into the woods. After they entered the forest, he pointed a tree to the lad and said the treasure was buried deep underground.

Finding the exact place, the lad realized that he needed a shovel to dig up the earth.

However, the lad feared that after returning with the shovel, he might forget the exact place where the treasure was buried. He came with the idea of tying a red ribbon around the tree so that he could recognize the spot.

Also, he made the mischief-maker promise not to take off the ribbon.

The lad rushed away to fetch the digging equipment. When he returned with the gear, the leprechaun was no longer there. And, every tree in the entire forest was tied with a red ribbon.

Leprechauns are used in online casinos

The Irish leprechaun is used frequently as a symbol on casino games, it's considered lucky.

Leprechauns are also often used in online casino games, as a symbol for luck, many online slots are themed around leprechauns, like the Lucky Leprechaun Slot.

Another such game is Surround the Leprechaun. Developed by Revan Games, this simple puzzle game features a mischievous leprechaun that is trying to make off with a pot of gold.

Your challenge is to keep him right where he is by blocking his path with strategically placed stones and boulders.

The game is available on a variety of free game sites, or you can play it directly from Revan’s website.  

An additional favourite amongst online gamers is Leprechaun Goes Wild which can be found at the best Irish online casinos.

Where can you find Leprechauns?

There's even a museum dedicated to the Irish leprechaun, that's hoe big a deal it is.

Well, that’s a tricky question. However, there are some places specially dedicated to leprechauns.

Leprechaun Cavern

In Carlingford, Ireland, visitors are allowed to walk through the underground caverns. You will find a tour guide explaining the history of these little creatures and narrating how leprechauns travel through these tunnels.

The National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland

Located in Dublin, Ireland, this museum has information ranging from the first sighting of a leprechaun in the 8th century to recent days sightings.

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