Are Leprechauns Real?

A man dressed as a leprechaun in green suit holding a pot of gold.
A man dressed as a leprechaun in green suit holding a pot of gold.
  • Leprechauns are small, human-like mythical creatures in Irish culture.
  • The tiny creatures are troublemakers but will grant three wishes for their release if captured.
  • Leprechauns are great musicians who can also play other traditional Irish instruments.

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the most celebrated cultural and religious holidays in Europe and America. The holiday, also known as a feast day, is observed on or around March 17. The Irish holiday is marked by parades, foods, music, dance, and other activities. Another thing you are likely to see is a tiny bearded man wearing green suits and hats and partaking in mischief. These mythical creatures are popularly known as leprechauns. Saint Patrick’s Day is never complete without the leprechauns since they are known to be great musicians who can also play a variety of instruments including the Irish harp, fiddle, and tin whistle. 

What Do They Look Like?

Originally, leprechauns had different appearances since they were found in different parts of Ireland. It was believed that they wore red and not green as they do today. Solitary leprechauns wore red jackets while the trooping ones wore green. The jackets had seven buttons, each in a row. They also wore hats which they would use to ball on a wall, usually when they were up to something mischievous. The modern leprechauns are more or less the same in appearance in all parts of Ireland. They are small or tiny enough to sit on one’s shoulders. However, some people claim that leprechauns are almost the size of small children. They are depicted as having a green suit, green hat, red beards, buckled shoes, and sitting on a toadstool. 

Where Did They Come From?

The name leprechaun was derived from the Irish word “leipreachan” meaning “pigmy.” The creatures first appeared in an ancient tale known as “Adventure of Fergus son of Léti” as Fergus mac Leti, King of Ulster. According to the text, the King fell asleep on the beach and woke up only to find three small-bodied men (luchorpain) dragging him to the sea. The King of Ulster managed to capture his abductors who granted him three wishes for their release. David Russell McAnally indicates that leprechaun is a “degenerated fairy” who is a son of an “evil spirit” and is partly good and partly evil. Like most Irish fairy tales, leprechauns may have its origin from the Tuatha De Danann, a supernatural race of the deities in Irish mythology but rarely appeared in Irish mythology

What Do They Do?

Leprechaun is a solitary creature whose main occupation is to make and mend shoes. Although they are practical jokers and mischievous, these mythical creatures are harmless and very intelligent. Irish legend holds that leprechauns are wealthy and derives their wealth from treasure-crocks buried during the time of war. They store their wealth and coins earned from shoemaking in a hidden pot at the end of the rainbow. The legend of the pot of treasure is popular among many people who will often chase rainbow in search of leprechauns and their pot of treasure. It is widely believed that if a leprechaun is caught, it will grant the capturer three wishes in exchange for its freedom. According to some sources like, leprechauns are only found in Ireland, specifically rural areas, away from people.


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