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The culture of Ireland has changed over its history mainly because of the different groups of people who have inhabited it and foreign influences. Peoples who inhabited Ireland include Celts, Gaels, Scoti tribes, and the Vikings. Land in Ireland was held by different groups of people at different times, which led the country to have no one main religion or language in Ireland. St. Patrick Arrived in Ireland in 432 AD and spread Christianity in Ireland through the Gaelic Kings. The English also struggled with the Irish for 800 years, selling Irish into slavery and fighting against the Catholics in Ireland, which helped form some of the culture of Ireland. Over the many years of fighting with England Ireland split into two main parts, Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK and The Republic of Ireland to the South. In the 20th century four Nobel-prize wining writers have come out of Ireland.
Ireland has no official religion but over 80 percent in the republic are Roman Catholic and about 3 percent are Anglican (Church of Ireland). In Northern Ireland about 40 percent are Roman Catholic, about 20 percent are Presbyterian, and about 15 percent are Anglican. The three most commonly spoken languages are English, Irish, and Polish. The main foods eaten in Ireland used to include potatoes and meats, today fast food, pizza, and Chinese are commonly eaten. The Irish have the third highest alcohol consumption in the world explaining some stereotypes. The most popular sport in Ireland is Gaelic football; other popular sports are hurling, rugby, soccer, and hockey.
Irish folktales are made up of tales and stories that are either Irish or Celtic mythology. Celtic mythology contains four cycles though a lot of the stories and history have been forgotten. The Irish believe in many fairies, which are incorporated in many of their folktales these include: Dullahans- Like headless horsemen. Pookas- harmful and mischievous fairies, which can assume different shapes and come out after nightfall. Changelings- Deformed fairies left by their mothers in place of a mortal baby. Banshees- Female fairy that forewarns major Irish families of their time of death. Appears as young woman, stately matron, or old hag and has a mourning call, which is heard when someone is about to die. Leprechauns- shoemakers by trade and guardians of ancient treasure. Cluricauns- group of leprechauns, which cause trouble and steal almost anything. Merrows- sea fairies that look similar to humans with flat feet and webbed hands, usually regarded as messengers of doom and death.
He . The leprechaun tried everything.' Slowly it began to dawn on Jack what the noise might be. 'It's a hot day. 'Just reach down and hand me up a glass.' 'Give it a try. A man called Jack Fox had just completed this ritual and was heading for his fields with his scythe on his back. the Water of Life Uisce Beatha!' Replied the leprechaun. nine times in a westerly direction. the Devil. They are solitary creatures that can be found by the sound of their hammer when working. He walked on further and soon he heard the tapping sound again. which can be revealed by threatening the leprechaun. He told Jack that his cattle were breaking out of the field behind him. maybe a sweet wine. Would you take a sup?' He said reaching for a jar that lay by his stool.' said Jack and quickly added in English 'God bless the work' in case the fellow did not know Irish. he pushed the bushes aside and saw a little man sitting by a last no bigger than a farthing. Tic Tac Too. Leprechauns Appear as tiny old men who practice the trade of shoe making. his pointed cap waved backwards and forwards almost hypnotizing Jack. The Leprechaun and Jack Fox Every Imbolc thousands of people visited Tobar Muire (Mary's Well). He rose up on his tip-toes and peeped over the hedge and saw nothing and it had gone quiet all of a sudden. 'Tic-Tac-Too. He hoped Jack would look towards the vessel but instead Jack fixed his gaze more intently and asked 'What is that you're drinking?' 'Best of Gorse whiskey. and Giants are also a common character in Irish folktales. 'Go raibh maith agat. This time it sounded more distinct. They crept around the well on their knees. if you doubt me' replied the leprechaun. The capture cannot take his eyes off of a leprechaun because it has the ability to vanish in an instant. From the hedgerow he heard a chirrup sound like that of a cricket. and thank you too' the shoe-maker answered smiling. shaping a tiny shoe that shone like gold. 'Bail ó Dhía ar an obair. but not whiskey. Jack knew he was looking at a leprechaun and he remembered that the fairy could lead him to a crock of gold if he made sure to keep his eyes on him. The hammer with which he worked was the size of a pin. but not enough to divert his attention from the shoe-maker. Witches. and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Leprechaun comes from the old Irish word luchorpan meaning little body.' Jack was smart again and resisted looking away from the leprechaun but kept his eyes firmly on him. Then they would go away and begin their harvest. As he tapped. They have crocks of gold. 'You'd never get whiskey made from gorse. He laid his scythe down and crept closer. He wondered if it was a horse-chaffinch but it was too late for their song.Ghosts. near Dundalk. He shouted that Jack's scythe was going to fall and cut his neck. This they believed would cure all their ailments. He walked on but he heard the sound again.
The leprechaun laughed. 'Why wouldn't I know it. and Jack thought he caught a glint in his eye.' said Jack 'swear on your honour. And so they made their way over stiles. 'Where did you hear that nonsense?' 'Come on now.' A flurry of wind rose behind him and blew across the expanse of stockings they fluttered in the same hypnotising way that the leprechaun's hat had done when Jack had first seen him working at his last. that the crock is under there. bring me to your crock of gold immediately!' said Jack making his face as angry looking as possible. but I must be on my way now for I have many more shoes to make for the ceilí tonight and I'll be in trouble if no one has any shoes to dance in. Jack Fox. come on then and follow me' said the leprechaun and he made to go on ahead. When he got back he told his wife the story and said that they would be rich and they need never work again.' said the leprechaun pointing to one flower. Jack had nothing else but his stocking with which to mark the flower so he took it off and put it over the dandelion. and across streams and fields practically glued to each other until at last they came to a field covered in dandelions. but it isn't at the end of the rainbow. .' 'That's a strange name. 'How is it you know my name?' demanded Jack.' 'Alright. 'Well. Do you live in a covert up on the Cooley Mountains or what?' joked the leprechaun. you had better bring me to the end of the rainbow where your pot of money lies. 'Alright then.' said the leprechaun. 'The recipe had been handed down in my family for generations. On every dandelion in the fifty acres there was a sock exactly the same colour as his own. 'There you are. Then he went off home to fetch a spade. and then I'll let you go. I know it's true. Jack quickly grabbed him and held on tight keeping his eyes still fixed on the leprechaun. 'it's under that caisearbhán there that you must dig. He whistled with delight as he grabbed his spade and returned to the field of dandelions. that it is there.' 'I swear on my honour and on all my ancestors. 'Night and day and far away. The Milesians brought if over to Ireland and gave it to us. I'll tell you where it is. 'Hold it now. 'That cleasaí has fooled me rightly!' bewailed Jack 'I could dig for a hundred years and still never find the right place. The little man began to look frightened and Jack threatened to roast him over a griddle if he didn't hurry up. Jack swore he could hear hundreds of dandelions laughing.said he had heather beer as well as whiskey and that if he drank that he would live forever. When he got there he screamed with anger. 'Slán is beannacht. he returned home and told his wife of his failure.' Jack felt he ought to broach the subject of the crock of gold.' 'And what is your name?' Jack asked. then away you go and slán!' said Jack. sure I've been living on your farm for longer than you yourself.' he ordered.' 'So is yours. 'Well. health and a blessing. at least I won't have to knit you another stocking for donkeys years!' and with that they both burst out laughing and saw the humour of it all. Dejected and downcast.
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