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Leprechaun Day: Do Irish People Actually Celebrate It?

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You’ve probably heard of St Patrick’s Day, but have you heard of Leprechaun Day? Most people don’t know about this Irish holiday that occurs on May 13th, because it’s rarely celebrated outside of Ireland. However, if you live in the United States or Canada and have Irish heritage, you might be interested to know what it entails and whether it’s worth celebrating.

This article will explain why Irish people celebrate it and what you can do to have some fun on this occasion as well!

Pile of gold with leprechaun and flowers
GETTY IMAGES / Thinkstock Images

What Is Leprechaun Day?

The occasion occurs on May 13th to celebrate Laprechauns—one of the famous symbols of St. Patrick’s Day.

What Are Leprechauns?

Leprechauns are Irish folklore creatures that closely resemble a small humanoid with a pointy hat and green outfit. The name comes from luchorpán, which means “little body” in Irish. They are cunning, shifty, and mischievous species with gold pots. A common belief is that they make and hide treasure at the end of a rainbow. Nonetheless, people believe they are cute and deserve their own day in Irish culture.

This creature has become an iconic symbol of Ireland’s Saint Patty’s Day celebration. Indeed, it appears in most of Celtic stories and famous movies about Irish folklore such as O Brother Where Art Thou.

History of Leprechaun Day

While no one knows when Leprechaun day began, most of my Irish friends said that it had been celebrated since the origin of St. Patrick’s Day. There’s too little information to conclude when this celebration started, really. What we could only know about this tradition are some folklore rumors about the Leprechauns.

One theory claims that Leprechauns lived in ancient Irish houses dating back to the 8th century. At the time, people from all over Ireland used to gather to catch these little helpers for good luck in ridding their crops of pests. 

Also according to Celtic mythology, there used to be both Leprechaun males and females living together. However, the females gradually disappeared for some reason, and only the males left. That is why today, we only see male Leprechauns in most Irish traditional events!

Why Do Irish People Celebrate Leprechaun Day?

Everybody knows that St. Patrick’s day is associated with Leprechauns. And since these two things seem to go hand in hand, it is logical that people celebrate Leprechaun Day two months after St. Patrick’s day.

But, Leprechauns were never mentioned by St. Patrick in his writings. So their association with St. Patrick is only folkloric. They were likely just added to add a bit of fun and joy to what was originally a solemn religious holiday in honor of Ireland’s patron saint.

In other words, leprechauns are less commonly associated with religion than luck or fairies in modern times. They are popularly considered part of Irish folklore or mythology. That is why the Irish celebrate it every year.

From my point of view, they simply love to honor one of many parts of their rich culture and to have traditional fun while observing it. As a bonus, it’s good for a country to have a symbol that piques the kids’ interest. This might put in Ireland’s young generation a “seed” to maintain and grow their national culture (as a whole) moving forward.

Leprechaun character Celebrating with Pint of Beer
GETTY IMAGES / RyanJLane

Typical Activities On This Day

Leprechauns are a fun part of Irish mythology and a popular figure on St. Patrick’s Day. Still, they don’t exist in reality. If you go looking for them (and we don’t advise it), you might end up disappointed that there is no pot of gold waiting at the end of your rainbow.

However, May 13th can still be a fun time to get together with friends, have some drinks and even make something tasty to enjoy while getting into your celebration mode! Besides, if you are alone on this day, there are some things for you to do to enjoy it as well. Here’s my list:

  • Play Leprechaun Trap and make crafts with your children.
  • Learn more about the Irish tales, which include leprechauns.
  • Wear green costumes and walk downtown to the bar, where you’ll drink beer and have fun with your friends.
  • Make some traditional food and invite your loved ones to enjoy it.
  • Decorate your house in green and leprechaun-theme.
  • Hang a leprechaun house flag.

» Watch More: St Patricks Day Flag

Final Thoughts

Legend has it that on Leprechaun Day, these Celtic creatures are allowed to roam free among the streets and enable kids to capture them—if they can! But this occasion is more than just a joke about the Irish. They actually celebrate it because the leprechaun’s myths and tales play an essential part in Ireland’s culture.

We hope this article has provided you with the information you need. Please note that if you are looking for something to decorate your house on March 17th or May 13th, we always have some ideas for you

Thank you for reading this, and have a good life!

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