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The Irish Folklore Behind the Leprechaun

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner and seeing as I am of Irish decent, I thought it would be fun to explore the legend of the Leprechaun. All I know about them is they like Lucky Charms for breakfast. So I went to the National Leprechaun Museum website for answers.

Well, it’s hard to actually find what a Leprechaun actually looks like as they are very slippery little suckers. They are only about 2 1/2 feet tall and live in holes in the ground.Full of mischief and tricks they like to scamper around pulling pranks on unsuspecting persons.

Apparently they used to live in a land under the sea and found there way to the surface around the 8th century and liked it so much they never left. Now they spend their time mending shoes for Fairies and stashing their money in a gold pot at the end of a rainbow.

The earliest reference to Leprechauns was in a Medieval tale called Echtra. Since that time they’ve seen a change in dress from red to green, from being evil to just a little mischievous, some times they carry a sword or magic wand or have variances of the hat.Those can all depend on the region of Ireland you might be in, but for the most part the description of the Leprechaun is that which we know today; green coat, hat and pants, white or green shirt and stockings, black shoes and belt with gold buckles.

I’ve never personally seen one but I haven’t given up hope just yet and I continue to play the lottery in hopes of winning. Not sure which of those I will see first.

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