National Leprechaun Day is celebrated every year on May 13. Though the exact history of National Leprechaun Day is unknown, what is clear is that it is a day dedicated to celebrating leprechauns, supernatural beings in Irish folklore The legend of leprechauns can be traced back to the 8th century when lore began to spread among the Celts. Whether or not you believe they exist, today’s a good day to let your imagination run loose.
History of National Leprechaun Day
The origin of National Leprechaun Day is unknown. However, the legend of leprechauns supposedly emerged during the 8th century when tales about tiny water-inhabitants began to spread among the Celts. The word ‘leprechaun’ is said to be derived from the old Irish word ‘lúchorpáin,’ meaning “little body” or ‘lobaircin,’ which means “small-bodied fellow.” According to Irish folklore, a leprechaun is a supernatural being, fairy, sprite, pixie, or pygmy, often portrayed as a short, mischievous, red-bearded old man in a green coat and hat.
A leprechaun is also believed to possess a pot of gold which can be found at the end of a rainbow. However, they are solitary creatures who spend their time cobbling shoes, playing pranks, and dancing the jig. In the past, leprechauns were believed to wear red clothing. This all changed when poet William Allingham wrote a poem about a leprechaun dressed in green. They are believed to carry around a tiny hammer for shoe-making, the sound of which can be heard tap-tapping nails into a shoe.
Several superstitions abound concerning the leprechaun’s pot of gold. Some believe that if a human catches a leprechaun, the creature will have to surrender its gold. Another belief is that rather than hand it over, the leprechaun will reveal the hiding place of the pot of gold unless it can trick the human and vanish. Several parks and museums around the world are dedicated to leprechauns, such as the Leprechaun Park in Oregon, U.S., Leprechaun Cavern in Carlingford, Ireland, and Leprechaun Museum in Dublin, Ireland.
National Leprechaun Day timeline
A leprechaun is reportedly spotted for the first time by the Celts.
The leprechaun myth begins to emerge.
Poet William Allingham writes about a leprechaun clothed in green.
A law is passed in Carlingford, Ireland to protect leprechauns.
National Leprechaun Day FAQs
Do leprechauns exist?
The answer to this depends on who you ask. Maybe they do or maybe they don’t.
What does a leprechaun say?
A lot of Irish leprechaun sayings exist, most of which take the tone of proverbs.
Is Saint Patrick’s Day and Leprechaun Day the same?
While Saint Patrick’s Day is on May 17, National Leprechaun Day is on May 13.
National Leprechaun Day Activities
Put on a touch of green or go all out with the color. If anyone asks, let them know about the tiny little creatures we’re celebrating.
Hold a leprechaun hunt
Have some fun and hold a leprechaun hunt. Place leprechaun statues around your garden and see who can find the most leprechauns. Remember, no cheating.
Let your imagination run wild
You don’t have to be a kid to have a big imagination. Let National Leprechaun Day inspire you to get creative and think big. Anything is possible.
5 Crazy Facts About Leprechauns
Someone spotted a leprechaun
A local pub owner in Carlingford, Ireland reportedly spotted a leprechaun in 1989.
Leprechauns are protected in Ireland
In the Sliabh Foy Loop Trail in Carlingford, there is a law protecting leprechauns and visitors must walk carefully to avoid stepping on them.
Leprechauns live in Carlingford
According to the people of Carlingford, all 236 of the last living leprechauns reside in their town.
Patrick O’Toole is a leprechaun leader
In Mill Ends Park, Oregon, in 1947, a local reporter began writing about the park’s head leprechaun, O’Toole.
No female leprechauns
In Irish folklore, no female leprechauns exist.
Why We Love National Leprechaun Day
It helps us reminisce
National Leprechaun Day brings back childhood memories. It takes us back to the golden days of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the wonderful innocence of childhood.
It sparks our creativity
We’re reminded to think creatively. If nothing else, National Leprechaun Day is a reminder that our imaginations are powerful and can be used to create compelling legends.
We learn about other cultures
This day also gives us a little glimpse into a different culture. Learning about new beliefs and myths from other parts of the world is a great way to broaden our knowledge.
National Leprechaun Day dates