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Facts about Leprechauns

Leprechauns are always depicted as male.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Leprechauns are creatures in Irish folklore that have become so widely popular that they are now iconic of Ireland! According to legend, leprechauns resemble old men who love to play tricks on people and hide pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

Leprechauns are so highly regarded in Ireland that they have their own museum in Dublin! Furthermore, residents of Donegal (a county in the north west part of Ireland) and Cork (a county in the south west of Ireland) once held a contest to see how many people would dress up like leprechauns and gather in one place. County Cork won and was awarded a Guinness World Record for their efforts after over 1,000 people attended the event!

Leprechauns have also made their way into mainstream media. The American cereal “Lucky Charms” has a leprechaun mascot who look s considerable younger than a traditional leprechaun. Some people have found fault in the depictions of leprechauns and claim that they are stereotypes of the Irish. However, the origins of leprechauns are authentically Irish and they remain beloved bits of folklore until this day.

Below is a list of five facts about leprechauns and things that are associated with them.

Male
Male Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Male

Leprechauns are almost always male. In traditional folklore they always took the form of grown (even elderly) men who were considerably shorter than human beings. There is debate about how tall leprechauns would be if they actually existed but it is generally accepted that they would stand to about a person’s calf, at most.

Beards
Beards Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Beards

Leprechauns are usually depicted as having long beards. Usually these beards are either red or white. This helps to give them the appearance of advanced age. One notable exception to this rule is the youthful (and beardless) looking leprechaun in the “Lucky Charms” cereal advertisements.

Clothes
Clothes Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Clothes

Leprechauns are generally shown wearing green fabric. They are usually wearing a suit and a top hat and sometimes carry a walking stick. Traditional depictions of leprechauns frequently show them holding a pipe.

Mischievous
Mischievous Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Mischievous

Leprechauns are infamous figures in folklore because they are very mischievous. They like to play pranks and jokes on humans and this can sometimes make them seem very unlikable, even bothersome.

Gold
Gold Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Gold

Leprechauns have a lot of gold which they like to hide in big pots at the end of rainbows. Legend has it that if you follow a rainbow to its end you will find the leprechauns gold. Legend also says that if you capture a leprechaun you can order him to take you to his pot of gold and exchange the gold for his freedom.