The Emerald Island Fairies


Annelyse Zaccaria, Staff Writer

On March 17th each year, countries across the entire globe host parades, parties, feasts, and dance festivals for the beloved holiday of St. Patrick’s Day, but one of the most ancient and treasured stories associated with this specific holiday is the folklore of the ‘Leprechaun.’ Not only has the story of these little creatures been passed on through hundreds of generations over time, but it also continues to serve as an incredibly enjoyable tradition that many take part in when trying to trap the mischievous little Irishmen. The following contains a little about the history and background of the sneaky orange-haired guy we all know and love.

The popular folklore of the leprechaun originated in Ireland in the 8th century. The leprechauns themselves were believed to have belonged to the fairy family and became increasingly famous across the country of Ireland when the Celts’ legend about “tiny water-dwellers” was popularized and spread to others. Eventually, these little humans received their name (leprechaun translates to a word meaning “small body”) and were known to be cobblers among the fairy community (shoemakers). Their hard work as shoemakers is where the leprechauns would receive their vast amounts of gold from. Many recorded that the leprechauns resided in secret underground caves and hollow tree trunks to conceal their existence from human beings. Interesting to note is that the creatures that we believe to be dressed in green from head to toe were depicted as wearing completely red clothing. This theory ultimately changed due to the popularity of the color green in Ireland, and soon this color also correlated with St. Patrick’s Day in general.

One common tradition associated with the leprechaun is trying to trap them to procure their pot of precious gold that is supposedly located at the end of rainbows. Naturally, millions of people around the world desire to achieve the challenge of trapping the leprechaun for his gold; therefore, individuals continue to give life to this activity when using their creative skills to find a way to cleverly trap the deceiving, fast, and mysterious miniature man. Additionally, the leprechaun himself serves as a widespread symbol for luck, and it is said that you will be able to receive three whole wishes if you manage to capture him successfully.

Whether you simply enjoy folklores from the Emerald Isle or are more intrigued with the emeralds you like to purchase with the leprechauns’ gold, St. Patrick’s Day is a beloved holiday for all the honorary Irish folk across the globe.