Irish Folklore and the Myth of Fairies and Leprechauns
Your 21st-century selves would find it hard to digest the belief in Little People or fairies still ripe in Ireland. It is not a part of Irish history or mythology. Instead, it is one of the rock-solid beliefs people here harbour and cherish.
With time, cultures develop their own belief and mythological tales, some of which keep on passing to the younger generation for years. However, these years can result in losing the source of these myths and legends. Sometimes this line between truth and mythology becomes so thin and blurry that people find it hard to differentiate between the real and unreal. The leprechauns are one of these fairy figures where the line between the truth and mythology has faded.
The History of Leprechauns in Ireland
While most of you would think of these creatures as imaginary, ask an Irish, and you will be amazed by the answer. What you enjoy in a magic book series is actually a part of Ireland’s culture. The belief in leprechauns and other fairies was so widespread in Ireland that it has now become so ingrained into the Irish culture even today.
The history of Leprechauns is associated with everything green, with them being depicted as old men dressed up in green hats and suits. The buckled shoes and smoking pipe go with the whole appearance and are additional aspects of a leprechaun’s attire. Although it started out with a red look, the love of the colour green throughout Ireland has evolved them into green-wearing guys.
The Traditions and Beliefs Surrounding Leprechauns
Leprechauns, the little fairies, are associated with certain traditions comprising:
Pot of Gold
The famous pot of gold is one of the key components of the leprechaun story. These little fairies hoard their prized pots, hiding this treasure at the end of a rainbow. Humans need to catch them to find this fortune since it is impossible to locate the end of this natural phenomenon.
According to the leprechaun story, capturing these small creatures secures a wee bit of luck along with three wishes. Therefore, they have become associated with the “luck of the Irish,” which is one of the reasons of their popularity.
Those looking for fortune also seek to acquire their gold, but beware- these teeny men are also called tricksters. They are said to trick humans and are considered as a warning against greed. People also believe that they hide their gold simply to lure in the unsuspecting, and when granting their captors three wishes, they often lead them astray.
Sights and Sounds
Always keep your ears open- the leprechauns can often be heard tapping their tiny cobbler hammer in the distance, signaling listeners that they are near. You can also hear them dancing away to traditional Irish music and are even known to play instruments while doing a little jig.
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