The Leprechaun Legend Lives On 尋找拉布列康
by Bruce E. Bagnell
If you’re in the United States on March 17, you may notice an unexpectedlylarge number of Americans are wearing at least one article of clothing that is green. These people are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the day of the patron saint of Ireland. In the US, Irish-Americans make up one of the country’s largest ancestry groups. In fact, the number of people that claim Irish heritage in the US is far greater than the population of Ireland!
With more than 35 million US citizens claiming Irish ancestry, it should not be astonishing that the Irish have had a great influence on US culture. Besides St. Patrick’s Day, another charming piece of Gaelic culture that was brought to America is the myth of the leprechaun. Living in forests, caves, and even people’s gardens, leprechauns are said to be meter-tall, bearded men who have a penchant for wearing leather shoes, trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, and an overcoat, all topped with a wide-brimmed hat, often with a buckle centered on the front. They are somewhat mischievous and like to play tricks on people. As legend goes, if a human should catch a leprechaun, the little man will grantthree wishes to gain his freedom.
In some families, schools, and communities, parents and teachers help children build leprechaun traps. These are set up on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, much like when children leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Since leprechauns fancy gold, gold-colored objects are placed in the traps to lure the little fellows in. The next day, children will miraculously find evidence, like chocolates and sweets, left behind by a curious leprechaun who visited but managed to escape.
Leprechauns are even featured as mascots for the University of Notre Dame and the Boston Celtics basketball team. It seems that adults also enjoy the legendary little leprechaun.