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What Is a Leprechaun?

Leprechauns (pronounced lep' rah kahn) is one of the most well-known Irish mythical creatures. Along with elves and faeries, it lives between the physical and the spiritual world.

Leprechauns are male, and stand at a diminutive 24 inches (or 610 mm. They are often depicted with very curly red hair that extend to sideburns behind pointed ears. Twinkling emerald eyes and rosy cheeks display a cheerful and sometimes mischievous demeanor. They are usually shown in green clothes and three-corner hat, and sometimes wear a work apron—a reference to their reputation for being skilled cobblers. (Indeed, they are thought to be the official shoemakers of the sprite world). They wear black leather shoes with sparkly buttons.

Leprechauns are thought to be solitary, preferring the company of their pipe and drink to human contact. Legend has it that they think men to be too careless and greedy, and on the rare occasion that they’re caught, they will use their quick wit and intelligence to escape.

Leprechauns are closely associated with the “pot of gold” and the belief that they can reveal this treasure to anyone who catches them. This originates from the legend that they were asked by the Danes to guard the gold they plundered from Ireland. It is said that these wily creatures carry two bags: one holding silver, the other gold. The silver regenerates each time it is spent; the gold crumbles to ash once the leprechauns disappear. This would be useful information in the off-chance anyone actually does see a leprechaun, or is able to catch him.

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