Leprechauns are figures in Irish folklore who guard hidden treasures. Considered small elves or incredibly agile goblins, they most often guard a pot of gold. Living a solitary life, the Irish leprechaun can be a source of mischief to the unwary and they are infamous for being extremely difficult to catch or trap.
Even if they are caught, the captor must always keep them within sight or they won't reveal the location of their treasure. Leprechauns share many characteristics with older creatures in mythology Celtic and European Irish at large, but since the 19th century they have achieved dominance becoming the most recognizable symbol of Irish folklore.
According to some experts, the word leprechaun comes from the ancient Irish Celtic god and cultural hero Lugh. Lugh was originally the god of sun and light, then he became a great warrior ruler of ancient Ireland. Lugh's stature diminished over time (literally) as the Christianization of Europe accelerated. He was eventually transformed into Lugh-Chromain, meaning "Lugh the Hunched" as he now inhabited the underground world of sidh where all other gods were relegated as the people forgot their traditions and embraced new religions. Lugh thus became something of a craftsman to the elves, and from there Lugh became ' Irish leprechaun ', the tiny elf-goblin of medieval folklore.
Confused with the leprechaun or leprechaun of Scottish legends, the Irish leprechaun is a small emblematic character, very well known in folklore in Ireland!
From Irish legends, such as the Banshee and the Dullahan, the Irish leprechaun is also very present in modern culture!
But what is its history, what are its characteristics?
Life is Celtic gives you the secrets of this little joker!
Who is he ? ID card, please!
Fairly old and very small, the Irish leprechaun, wearing a hat and dressed in green, wears a beard. Solitary, greedy and quite asocial, his sullen attitude gives him a very bad temper!
Generally, he fills his days by making or repairing shoes or by counting the gold coins in his cauldron.
In his spare time, he loves to drink dudeens and smoke a pipe. This comic also makes very bad jokes!
If you are lucky enough to capture him, do not listen to his false promises! You will have the right to formulate 3 wishes which he will fulfill in order to be released. Choose them well!
Also remember not to click your eyes!
Very fast, it may slip through your fingers!
The Irish Leprechaun in history!
The medieval tale Echtra Fergus mac Léti includes arguably the oldest reference to the Irish leprechaun!
The text thus mentions Fergus mac Léti, king of Ulster, and 3 little accomplices who drag the king into the sea while he was asleep on the beach!
Fortunately, Fergus is gifted with good reflexes because he manages to capture them! They therefore have no choice but to grant him 3 wishes in order to leave, free.
The Irish Leprechaun in modern culture!
The image of the Irish leprechaun, conveyed by the media (advertising, films, etc.), is very different from that illustrated by Irish mythology!
We thus find elderly characters, grumpy and sarcastic, with a big red beard and green clothes adorned with a four-leaf clover.
They live at the foot of a rainbow, allowing them to jealously watch over their cauldron filled with gold and hide from strangers.
In the cinema, the appearance of the Irish leprechaun is multiple!
The film Darby O'Gill and the Sprites, produced by the Disney studio in 1959, depicts little people who are, in truth, leprechauns, despite the erroneous translation.
In 1993, Mark Jones directed the Leprechaun saga.
In 2005, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a large dancing leprechaun looms in the sky as the Irish national team arrives on the Quidditch pitch.
The leprechaun also has its place in video games, especially in League of Legends or Heroes of Might and Magic IV.
And that's not all: the Irish leprechaun also appears on television!
In the Charmed series, he is represented by a half-man who distributes nuggets of gold, hidden at the foot of rainbows, which symbolize good luck or bad luck.
In South Park, Kyle and Cartman develop a bet about the existence of leprechauns, from which Cartman will emerge victorious when a creature is captured during a beat.
In 1966, this little being appeared during the second season of the series My Beloved Witch.
On the hit series Glee, Brittany mistakes an Irish student for an Irish leprechaun.