Clarissa Johal: Tangled Tuesday-Leprechauns

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tangled Tuesday-Leprechauns

Leprechauns. And no, I don't mean the one who is determined to send all children into a sugar coma (MORE marshmallows, anyone?).

Circa 1900 engraving
Public domain photo
I mean the mischievous fairies in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man with a beard, clad in a hat and red or green coat, and no taller than a small child. Depending on where in Ireland they were found, the dress could vary by region. Leprechauns were shoemakers and very keen musicians who played tin whistles, fiddles and Irish harps. They stored away their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If ever captured by a human, they had the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for their release. 

As a cousin of the clurichaun they were known to inhabit Ireland well before the arrival of the Celts. The earliest literary mention of Leprechauns were from a ninth century story called Echtra Fergus mac Léti (Adventure of Fergus son of Léti). The text contains an episode in which Fergus mac Léti, King of Ulster, falls asleep on the beach and wakes to find himself being dragged into the sea by three lúchorpáin

How to catch a Leprechaun...if you dare

1) The best time to see a Leprechaun is morning or at dusk.
2) They are usually alone in the woodlands. You can follow the sound of the tapping of their shoe hammers.
3) Never take your eye off them or they will vanish. The Leprechaun is bound by courtesy and fairy law and must tell the truth--but only so long as you look them in the eye.
4) They carry two leather pouches. In one there is a silver shilling, a magical coin that returns to their purse. In the other, there is a gold coin, which is a bribe. This coin will turn to leaves or ashes once the Leprechaun has parted with it.
5) A captured Leprechaun will grant you three wishes. Mind yourself! Wishes (and Leprechauns) can be very tricky.
6) They will do anything to escape and can be devious, if they are caught
7) Never harm a Leprechaun. They can very malicious if treated badly.

Good luck! *;) winking

No comments: