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Irish mythology & folklore: Leprechaun facts + Leprechaun Museum, costume info

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Intro: Leprechauns count among the most interesting creatures of Irish mythology and folklore. Around St. Patrick's Day, the popularity of these little fairy-type creatures soars as people research Ireland, either for the purposes of a planned trip to Ireland or as research for activities such as leprechaun drawings or for costumes to wear to a St. Patty's Day party. If Ireland's leprechauns have always fascinated you, then read on. You'll find out more information about these wee men plus information about costumes for your St. Patty's parties (here or in Ireland) and a little bit of info about visiting the National Leprechaun Museum on the Emerald Isle.

St Patrick's Day crafts: Cute leprechaun decorations to make for your home

St Patrick's Day coloring pages: Leprechaun pictures to print and color

What are Leprechauns?

Ireland is a land steeped in myths and legends and chief among the most popular and enduring types of stories in Irish folklore are the stories of the wee folks. In addition to fairy mounds, wood fairies, sprites and all kinds of other fairy Shi, are the sweet leprechauns.

According to Live Science, the pixies of Disney don't have much basis in real Irish fairy lore. Fairies, including the leprechaun, can be at times spiteful, lustful and even nasty creatures filled as much with tricksy natures as they are filled with magic.

The leprechaun is typically depicted with a tall hat and buckle shoes. he wears a bear plus a green cloak, although apparently earlier versions of this Irish myth have him clad in red.

The known references to leprechauns date back to the 8th century and are counted among the water spirits in Irish folklore.

Leprechauns were shoemakers by trade.

St. Patrick's Day facts: Who was St. Patrick? Was he even Irish? (Irish history)

Irish Folklore Creatures ~ The Trickster

The leprechaun falls into the trickster category of legend and myth. According to About. com, many

mythologies share a curious and enigmatic figure called the Trickster. He often wears the guise of this or that animal depending upon which tribe you are dealing with. Although he is a creator, and a teacher of humans, he can also be the epitome of chaos and foolishness.

If you're planning on visiting Ireland around St. Patty's Day, then you'll definitely want to go to the National Leprechaun Museum. Go to the leprechaun museum's website for more information, including current admission prices for the National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland.

I'm not making this up; this cool museum really exists! It's in Dublin. And speaking of sights in Dublin, you'll also want to check out this exhibit!

What to do in Ireland: See the Book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day ~ Leprechaun Costumes

If your St. Patrick's Day pursuits include parties and you want to dress up like a leprechaun for your St. Patrick's Day party, you can find leprechaun costumes of various sizes on Amazon.

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