About the mythological Irish characters called leprechauns, who have been popularized through legend and movies.
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So you want to know if the little people are real — do ya’? After some serious research here are the facts about the little sprites the Irish believe have a pot of gold hidden at the end of the rainbow. And if you catch one of these fellows his treasure is yours if you can outwit him!
Leprechauns are sometimes called Irish faeries and are very tiny elf-like creatures about 2 – 3 inches tall. It is believed (from Irish Mythology) that they were on the “Green Isle” way before it was invaded by the Celts.
Leprechauns are usually seen as old men that resemble shoemakers or cobblers and are always male.
How much gold is in their pots? One gold coin for each year of the leprechaun’s life is in the pot.
They are considered mischief-makers who delight in causing things to move or disappear from around the household of ordinary folk.
The word Leprechaun has several possible roots:
*luch-chromain ["little stooping Lugh"] …..Lugh being the name of a leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
*from the Irish Gaelic word leipreachán, [as defined by Dinneen] “a pigmy, a sprite, a leprechaun
*from luchorpán” [ Dinneen] “a pigmy, a leprechaun; ‘a kind of aqueous sprite’”
The leprechaun personality is seen as a harmless prankster who is very intelligent, well spoken and who enjoys solitude choosing to live in remote places on the isle.
Do not confuse leprechauns with the clurichauns (a free spirited drunken sprite or fairy) or far darigg, who are a breed of faeries different from them.
The “Lucky Charms” leprechaun is a Madison Avenue creation as are most American pictures depicting the little ones. Many Irish folk find these images of leprechauns to be commercialized offensive Irish stereotypes and demeaning of Ireland’s rich and ancient culture.
Legend says that if a human fixed their eyes on a leprechaun he could not escape and their treasure would come to the person who out witted the leprechaun.
Leprechauns have been used by the tourist bureau of Ireland to promote the land of Erin and draw people to visit the green isle.
A final factoid from out modern time is that the tales and mythology of the leprechaun legend has spawned the very successful Leprechaun horror film series, which began in 1993 starring the now famous actress, Jennifer Aniston. 5 Leprechaun movie sequels have been released with all of them featuring Warwick Davis as the “evil sprite”.
Here is another very weird leprechaun factoid:
The Crichton Leprechaun (also called the Mobile Leprechaun) is a leprechaun reported to have been sighted in March 2006 by the residents of the Crichton neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama . The Crichton Leprechaun became an international story after the local NBC news story on the creature was aired by WPMI-TV.
If you are really into leprechauns 2 movies you should see are:
Image via Wikipedia
The Disney Classic (released in the late 1950’s) “Darby O’Gill and the little people” and “The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns “, a 1999 Hallmark Entertainment made-for-TV fantasy movie starring Randy Quaid, Colm Meaney, Kieran Culkin, Roger Daltrey and Whoopi Goldberg.