Why is a leprechaun associated with St. Patrick’s Day?

After researching this question, the only answer we found is the obvious one – because leprechauns come from Ireland, and as many Irish things are associated with St. Patrick’s Day, they have become associated with this holiday. As the legend goes, leprechauns are Irish fairies, which grow no taller than 2 feet. They are shoemakers by trade and tend to be drunk most of the time. However, they are never too drunk to swing the hammer and make more shoes.

According to legend, leprechauns are grumpy old men and enjoy living alone. They also possess a hidden pot of gold. The tradition also says that if caught, leprechauns must reveal the whereabouts of their gold; however, they are very tricky and can vanish with a blink of an eye.

What is an Ides, as in the Ides of March?

The most famous Ides was on the 15th of March, the day Julius Caesar met his maker. The Romans had a flair for the complex. In their calendar, they organized months around three days, each with a reference point for counting the other days.

For example, Kalends (first day of the month), Nones (the seventh day in March, May, July, October; the fifth in the other months) and Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July and October; the 13th in the other months). It was complicated and the months started to fall into different seasons.

Thank goodness the Council of Trent started a reform movement decreed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. So, the Ides is the day of the 15th, not a lucky day for Julius Caesar.

Do you know if the shamrock is the national symbol for Ireland?

You might think it was, but it’s really a harp. For the past several hundred years the harp has been the symbol of the Irish and it is displayed on flags and coins.

If you have a question for the Farmers’ Almanac write to Farmers’ Almanac, P.O. Box 1609, Lewiston, ME 05241 or e-mail: [email protected]

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