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Leprechaun Day

Leprechaun Day celebrates leprechauns and their history. Legends related to leprechauns date to the eighth century, to Celtic folklore about water spirits called luchorpán, a word for "small body," who were two or three feet tall and said to live in hollow tree trunks or underground caves. Two types of fairies from Irish mythology have similar characteristics to leprechauns. Clurichauns love drinking, mending shoes, and treasure. Far darrigs are depicted as troublemakers who give people nightmares and have red coats instead of the green ones associated with leprechauns. The name for leprechauns may also be associated with the Irish word lobaircin, which means "small-bodied fellow," and leath bhrogan, which means shoemaker.

Early leprechauns were portrayed as mischievous, trick-playing fairies. Legend said that if you caught one and then set him free, you'd receive a pot of gold. They were known to hide their pots of gold at the end of rainbows. In original manuscripts, they wore red and weren't always male. Female leprechauns were depicted as luring males from home and tempting them with adventure.

In present-day Irish folklore, there are only male leprechauns. They are depicted with ginger hair, a specific green coat, and a buckled hat. They dance the jig and wear out their shoes quickly. Thankfully, they are cobblers and carry with them tiny hammers so they can make shoes. When they are on their way, the sound of hammers can be heard tapping. Recent stories say that whoever catches them will have a wish granted, but it may come with a price. Leprechauns may be strongly associated with St. Patrick's Day, but they have today all to themselves with Leprechaun Day.

How to Observe Leprechaun Day

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