Irish leprechaun stories are a big part of popular culture, from the little green clothes they wear to the gold they always hide at the end of rainbows. But what do we really know about these small people who are up to no good? Where do leprechauns come from, and how do you catch one? Join us as we learn more about everyone’s favourite Irish mythical creatures by looking at the history of leprechaun folklore.
How and why leprechauns came to be in Irish mythology
Leprechaun stories have been a part of Irish folklore for hundreds of years, and legend has it that they were around before the Celts. These little green guys are only 2 to 3 feet tall, but they can live for hundreds of years. They are thought to be part of an ancient supernatural race called the Tuatha Dé Danann.
Legend says that the Tuatha Dé Danann, also called the “People of the Goddess Danu,” were god-like people who brought magic and hidden knowledge to Ireland long ago. It was also said that they had brought four treasures with them, one from each of four mythical island cities.
Some people say that a cloud of smoke brought them down from heaven. Others say they came on a huge fleet of 300 ships, which they then burned, which is why there was such a big cloud of smoke. There are still more theories that say they were either lost people from Atlantis or even aliens.
Where Do Leprechauns Live?
Traditional Irish myths, many of which are told in the “Book of Invasions” or “Lebor Gabála Érenn,” can easily explain why there is no proof of leprechauns. The book is a written collection of myths, poems, and oral folklore that was said to tell the “history” of Ireland.
The story says that the Milesians, who were the ancestors of the modern Irish people, eventually beat the Tuatha Dé Danann in a battle. Under the terms of a peace treaty, the Milesians could keep living above ground, but the Tuatha Dé Danann had to move underground.
Over time, the supernatural race started to get smaller, and in the end, they turned into Faerie folk, also known as little people. At some point in time, leprechauns became known as smart, lonely old men who were different from other magical creatures. They like to live in the countryside and hide from people by living in underground caves or the hollows of trees. They like being alone, and they know that people are always trying to catch them and make them give up their treasure or grant wishes.
The traditional diet and job of a leprechaun
Even though it’s hard to figure out what a mythical creature that tries to avoid science eats, leprechauns are often thought to be strict vegetarians. They eat mostly mushrooms, nuts, vegetables, and wildflowers, which they use in salads instead of lettuce. They have also been known to drink a few pints of Irish whiskey, which sometimes makes them look like drunks.
Legends, on the other hand, say that they are a very enterprising people. W.B. Yeats, a famous Irish author, wrote about fairy folk in general in his book Irish Fairies and Folk Tales.
“Their main things to do are eat, fight, make love, and play the most beautiful music. They only have one person who works hard: the lepra-caun, or shoemaker.
Leprechauns have always been known for being great shoemakers and cobblers. Some people even think that their name comes from the old Irish word “leath bhrógan,” which means “shoemaker.” Why do people like making shoes so much? Yeats says that leprechauns and faeries in general love to dance so much that they always need new shoes.
How to Get a Leprechaun
Leprechauns are like the Irish version of genies, except they don’t come in bottles. Even if you are lucky enough to find one of the mythical green men, capturing it will probably be a whole other problem.
Your best bet might be to set a trap with coins or something else shiny to catch the leprechaun’s eye. Do you want to try it? There are lots of clever tricks and tips on how to build a leprechaun trap on the internet. Tradition says that if you wear green, leprechauns won’t be able to see you. So, make sure you dress in green.
If you catch your target, don’t let him get away. Because leprechauns are so small, they can easily get away from people who want to catch them.
When it comes to what happens next, leprechauns are very different from one story to the next. Some people say that if you corner them, they can help you get what you want or lead you to their pot of gold. Others warn that they do this on purpose to catch humans who are too hungry to say no, and then they use tricks or bad luck to get back at their captors. Most leprechaun curses involve things like bad milk or only being able to speak backwards. Keep your eyes open and don’t let it happen to you.
Tricks and stunts that Leprechauns have done in the past
Leprechauns are smart, so many people think it’s best to leave them alone. Even for those who have caught a leprechaun, the stories about them rarely end well. One famous story says that a young man was lucky enough to catch one of the small tricksters. The young man asked to be taken to where the leprechaun had hidden his pot of gold.
When the young man got there, he realised he didn’t have a shovel, so he put his hat on top of a stick to mark the spot. But when he came back the next day with a shovel, he found out that he had been tricked. As far as the eye could see, the field where he had marked the spot was full of sticks with old hats on them.
As you can see, leprechauns may be one of the most well-known mythical creatures, but it’s best to enjoy their antics in stories rather than in real life.
Leprechauns eat wildflowers, nuts, potatoes, and mushrooms of all kinds. They also like to make fancy drinks at home, and sometimes they drink dandelion tea. Since leprechauns live in a forest in Ireland, most of their food comes from wild plants.
Leprechauns drink a lot of different kinds of beer and whisky, especially on St. Patrick’s Day, when a child is born, or at a wedding. Some of their favourite beers are green beer and Guinness. Leprechauns are thought to live for more than 300 years because they eat organic foods that are full of nutrients. People say that they live in caves, tree hollows, and invisible villages in the forest. Leprechauns are very shy creatures that spend most of their lives collecting gold coins and guarding the treasure.
Leprechauns look like people but have red hair. People think they are about 24 inches tall. In Irish mythology, the leprechauns were once great warriors who were sent away by an evil magician and his army after they conquered Ireland. After many years, the warriors who had been sent away turned into leprechauns. The word “leprechaun” comes from the Gaelic word for “shoemaker.” This is why leprechauns in many Irish fairy tales are shoemakers.