I want to preface this post by saying what I’m sharing here may not be grounded in fact. There are as many versions of these stories as there are characters for each story. This is just some fun to start an early St Paddy’s Day weekend.
The Banshee: often seen as an old woman, her scream is said to bring death to anyone who hears it. There is one version of this story which says she is attracted to people in extreme grief. The death her screams bring is supposed to relieve the grief. It’s also thought if you survive her screams, you will become a banshee.
Pookas: Mischievous fairies. They love wrecking havoc especially in the countryside.
Changelings: Baby fairies swapped for human babies. Changelings are thought to only be happy if there is chaos and sadness in the home where they’re left.
Dagda’s Harp: a magical harp which when played can emit the Music of Tears, making everyone who hears it cry, Music of Mirth, making everyone laugh or the Music of Sleep making everyone fall into a deep slumber.
Childred of Lir: Lir is the Lord of the Sea. His children were changed into swans by their jealous stepmother. They could only be changed back if they heard the chime of a Christian Bell. They are reported to have been swans for around 900 years until St. Patrick brought a Christian Bell to Ireland.
St. Patrick: He’s reported to have driven all the snakes from Ireland. Which wasn’t hard, since there weren’t any snakes in Ireland.
The Shamrock: The Druids believe it wards off evil. The Celts believe it has mystical powers, and they believe the number 3 is sacred. And the Christians believe it represents the Holy Trinity.
Finn MacCool: a warrior who in ancient times caught a salmon which possessed all knowledge. While cooking the salmon hot juice spilled on his thumb. While sucking his burnt thumb, he was imparted with the knowledge of the salmon. So, whenever he needed to know something, he sucked his thumb for knowledge.
Fairies: Shape shifting creatures, who can take any form but for some reason like the human form. They often appear as beautiful and irresistible, however, contrary to most fairy tales, they are not usually kind or friendly.
Leprechauns: Very tall fairies. They usually appear as an old man. They collect gold and hide it in pots at the ends of rainbows. It’s said they travel on rainbows and if you’re lucky enough to catch one, he has to grant you three wishes before he is allowed to leave you.
Like I said these are myths and there are many versions of these stories. Here’s some nice Celtic music to start putting you in the mood to honor the Irish!!!