View Full Version : ? for the Irish

Straight, No Chaser
03-17-2005, 11:06 AM
Can someone please explain this Irish folk-tale my daughter has now "adopted" for our family? (we are not Irish)

It seems like the little green dude (leprechaun) has achieved cult status with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.

All have a particular memory about their kindergarten teacher and I suppose my daughter will have this about hers. I'm guessing the 20 other children who had Ms. Lieber will too (Gee, Thanks!). This is the third year she's put a right shoe outside her door on St. Patrick's Day Eve. Allegedly, a leprechaun comes to your house during the night and gives you stuff like chocolate and things.

Does this scenario have some significance somewhere in Irish folklore? Maybe it's just me but I bet Hallmark has something to do with it ;)


siberian khatru
03-17-2005, 11:10 AM
I thought you had to catch the leprechaun first before he gave you anything (like his pot o' gold). I didn't think he gave anything away for free. But then, I'm only half-Irish, so maybe I only got half the story.

03-17-2005, 11:13 AM
Never heard of it.

Been Irish all my life ;)

03-17-2005, 11:19 AM
Saint Patrick's Day March 17
In Irish Gaelic:
Lá Fhéile Pádraig (LAW AY-luh PAW-rihg) = St. Patrick's Day
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! (BAN-uhkh-tee nuh FAY-luh PAW-rihg O-rihv) = Happy St. Patrick's Day to You All!

Visit the Ulitmate St. Patrick Page!To Patrick!
Make a St. Patrick's Cross and be Prepared -Go to the St. Patrick's Cross Craft Page
For Poetry and Writing of the Saint go to:Pat's Verse!

Traditional customs for the proper celebration of the day-and Yes we know that Ireland has tried its best to discard its historic culture in favor of progress,industrialization and American commercialism-but customs are important to give meaning to life and joy to the soul so here they are:
1.Wear an emblem in honor of the saint-a custom which dates from as early as 1681-and the account of Thomas Dinely. Generally a green ribbon the shamrock or a saint patricks cross(circle or square of paper decorated with green ribbon and bits of priests vestments by girls and small children-for boys a paper cross in the style of the Celtic illuminations carefully decorated)

2. Go to work and demand the "Patrick's Groat" take leave of your capitalistic master and go to town and spend it all.(very few of the zealous should be found sober at night account(Dinely 1681!). 3.Men should make a cross of a twig of wild sallow and pin it to the thatch inside the house or above the door.

4.You may also wear a harp shaped badge

5.Wear the "Trifolium repens"-white clover (Identified as such by Caleb Threlkeld in 1727)

6.After church go to the pub to drink the "pota Pa/draig"-St. Patricks pot. Many acts of devotion should be followed by an equal number of acts of copious libation...

7.Say this quaint line when doing so:

Ordain a Statute to be Drunk

And burn Tobacco free as Spunk

And (fat shall never be forgot"

In Usquebah,St. Patrick's Pot

(Farewell 1689)

8.Actually it is doubtful if anyone knows what a shamrock is(Early 20th century-Nathaniel Colgan asked around Ireland and found that it could be-Trifolium repens,(white clover), Folium minus-(leser trefoil),Trifolium pratense(purple clover),Medicagio Lupulina(Black Medick) So take your pick!

9.Give treats and gifts to friends and children.

10.Put shamrock which has been worn on the day into the last glass of drink-then toast to the health of all and pick the wet drowned shamrock out of the glass and toss it over the left shoulder.

11.Using a burnt stick make a cross on the sleeve of each member of the household

12.You have to eat meat and you do not need any special dispensation to do so. Jocelin notes that as early as 1100 AD people ate meat in Lent due to an account of St.Patrick doing so and then being forgiven the meat turning to fish in the boiling water.

17.You must begin your planting soon after St. Patrick's day-(peas are best planted on the day. (Source-Kevin Danaher- The Year in Ireland Mercier Press Cork,1972)

Normally, the shoes would be filled with treats and goodies. The children would set them outside the night before St. Patrick's Day. The above does not explain it very well, but it was said that St. Patrick would fill the shoes of the good boys and girls.


Mr. Kotter
03-17-2005, 11:20 AM
This is what I found in a brief search:

Sound a lot like frazod and Skip to me... :hmmm:


The most famous (or infamous) Irish fairy of them all is the stuff of many a fantasy and folktale and one of Ireland's most beloved symbols. The leprechaun legend is especially popular around St. Patrick's Day. Here's a brief overview of this famous Irish legend.

Standing only about two-feet-tall, this little old shoemaker with twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks looks friendly, but they're actually quite the tricksters.

According to Colin Chapman, leprechauns are "given to excess, nothing appeals to a Leprechaun like a binge of whiskey, Guinness, pipe tobacco and snuff, and despite their small stature they can handle surprising quantities of alcohol."

If you could really use a good laugh, check out the dialogue with a drunken leprechaun at the bottom of Colin's article, "Leprechaun".

Being aloof and unfriendly little fairy souls, Ireland's leprechauns aren't easy to spot. They spend all their time busily making shoes, and stashing away all the money their craft brings them in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Everyone's heard of the legendary pot of gold, and the only way to track one is to follow the sound of a leprechaun hammering the shoes. They say if you catch one, he'll promise to take you to his pot of gold if you can just keep him in your sights.

But these tricky little fellows know just how to get you to look away.

Once you do, they've disappeared and your chance of riches is gone!

03-17-2005, 12:17 PM
I hear they just drink alot.

03-17-2005, 12:40 PM
They're always after me lucky charms!