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Treasure waits at the end of a rainbow

Submitted by Melissa Ibbotson on March 22, 2012 – 5:18 pmOne Comment

Leprechauns, or “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow,” have long been a part of Irish myth, and they are believed a source of good luck if you can catch one. But catching one, they say, is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Traditional myths say they are short little men, wearing top hats and tuxedos, and according to, are shoemakers, employed by the fairies who love to dance, and therefore quickly go through shoes.

According to, you can find a leprechaun by following the sound of his shoe hammer, but they use all sorts of charms and tricks to get away from potential captors, and also to hide the stash of gold they are said to protect.

“Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker’s hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second,” according to “If the captor’s eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.”

Leprechauns have their own way of hiding their gold, it turns out. According to, leprechauns are about the only creature who can actually find the end of a rainbow, so they hide their gold there. They are also said to “scramble” rainbows so other leprechauns can’t find it.

If you are so lucky to find the end of a rainbow, said you’d be best to bury your treasure there and then plant a hawthorne or whitethorn bush over it. It is said that if a leprechaun finds your treasure and plant, they are bound by their own laws to protect it until you return.

According to a about St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns really had nothing to do with the holiday until after a Disney movie released in the ‘50s that portrayed leprechauns as cheerful and friendly, which is nothing like the cantankerous character of Irish folklore.

St. Patrick’s Day, named for the man who in the 5th century brought Christianity to Ireland, is celebrated worldwide on March 17, on what is said to be the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death. On this day, the traditional ban on meat during Lent is waived and the people feast on a traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

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