Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today I am deviating from my regular blog to wish you all a HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY.

Being Irish, I could not let the day pass and not talk about the myths of Ireland.

So, let see now. I think we will start with the Leprechaun:      

Leprechauns are the most well-known elves of Ireland, they live in the large grassy hills, wild areas and in the forests. The leprechaun is an ugly little creature with pointed ears and is about two to three feet tall. Not like the pictures we use to portray them.  They avoid contact with humans or any other leprechauns or fairies. He lives alone and puts all of his energy into his passion of shoemaking, as he is well known as a fairy shoemaker. Because they are a kind of faerie, leprechauns are often invisible. Most of the time a leprechaun can  be found with a shoe in one hand and a hammer in the other,  he also is quite fond of a smoke from his tobacco filled foul smelling clay pipe which is never too far away from his reach.

The name leprechaun may have derived from the Irish leath brogan-meaning shoemaker. The ancient origins of what we know today as the leprechaun was a Cletic god named Lugh, pronounced "Luck". Lugh was the great Sun God of the Irish and Celts, patron of Arts and Crafts, leader of the Tuatha de Danann.
Due to the leprechaun’s thrifty nature, they are trusted to guard faerie treasures and hide their pots of gold very carefully. 

According to legend, If caught by a mortal, he will promise great wealth if allowed to go free. He carries two leather pouches. In one, there is a silver shilling, a magical coin that returns to the purse each time it is paid out. In the other, he carries a gold coin that he uses to try and bribe his way out of difficult situations. This coin usually turns to leaves or ashes once the leprechaun has parted with it. However, you must never take your eye off him, for he can vanish in an instant. 

How about that pot of gold?
If you see a rainbow and you find it’s end you will find the faerie pot of gold. Of course that only applies to those who live in Ireland.

Another symbol of the Irish and St Patrick’s Day is the Shamrock:   

The Shamrock is believed to bring good luck. It was originally known as the seamrog, or summer plant, in the Irish language.

The ancient Druids in Ireland revered the plant for the secret meaning in its three leaves. The Christian belief is the shamrock represents the Holy Trinity. This powerful symbol will never cease to symbolize Ireland, and the purity and commitment by Saint Patrick to spreading the word of God throughout the country.
Three is Ireland's magic number. Hence the Shamrock. Crone, Mother and Virgin. Love, Valour and Wit. Faith, Hope and Charity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Numbers played an important role in Celtic symbolism.
Often, the Shamrock is confused with the four-leaf clover, which also is prevalent in Irish lore: but they are not the same, although some say the forth leaf is for luck.

Lastly, I will leave you with the Banshee:

The word Banshee comes for Bean-Sidhe, meaning woman of the faerie or faerie mounds. She was appointed to forewarn members of certain ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O'Neills, the O'Briens, the O'Connors, the O'Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Others say it was the families whose names began with O, Mac or Mc.

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