The Origin of Leprechauns

While they play a central role in modern St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the legendary leprechaun has no connection to the Catholic saint.

First appearing in medieval texts, the leprechaun is a type of fairy native to Ireland. However, instead of fluttering around the woods, he passes the time causing mischief and cobbling his often worn-out shoes. His small stature helps in evading capture; by the time humans realize something is amiss, he’s out the door!

It’s said that if you’re lucky enough to catch a leprechaun, he not only grants wishes, but surrenders his pot of gold. Kids have been trying to trap one of these diminutive creatures for years, to no avail.

At some point, this symbol of Ireland was appropriated as a secular mascot for St. Patrick’s Day. Now an international sensation, the leprechaun can be found on breakfast cereals, in films and at St. Patrick’s Day festivities around the world.

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Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies



1 pound dry ziti pasta

1 onion, chopped

1 pound lean ground beef

2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce

6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced

1 1/2 cups sour cream

6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.