18 March 2022
By Roger Kennedy
Ireland has had a long association with leprechauns, and the magical creatures often show up in mainstream media associated with the country. Irish themes are incredibly popular in online slots because people often believe that symbols from the Emerald Isle are lucky. On these reel spinners, leprechauns seem to be a staple.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how this connection between Ireland and leprechauns came about, though? It turns out that the history of these quirky beings can be traced all the way back to the 8th Century.
Irish Themed Slots Have Promoted the Connection with Leprechauns
As we’ve mentioned previously on this site, when it comes to individual countries’ representation in the slots market, Ireland is ruling the roost. There are plenty of slot games focusing on ancient civilisations in Egypt and Greece but, in terms of modern cultures, Ireland can’t be beaten.
In the lengthy list of Paddy Power games, Irish themed slots like Wish Upon a Paddy Power are abundant. This is partly because the site hails from these parts, but also because the operators know players love to see these lucky themes in games. As you’d expect, the iconography on the reels of Irish-themed games includes shamrocks, pots of gold and, of course, the iconic leprechaun.
Leprechauns Have Also Been Seen in Other Areas of Popular Culture
Aside from slots, leprechauns have been used to highlight an Irish connection in other areas of popular culture. For instance, there’s the chilling horror series from Mark Jones that began with Leprechaun in 1993. The franchise stars Warwick Davis as a vengeful leprechaun who believes a group has stolen his pot of gold. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the movies aren’t amazing but they do have that famous Irish charm.
In sport, Irish symbols can be found in teams that want to show their links to the country. The Boston Celtics basketball team is a prime example of this. The area has a massive Irish population, and the successful side represents that. A leprechaun is central in the logo and Lucky the Leprechaun is the side’s mascot.
Magical Creatures Can be Traced to 8th Century
It’s clear that simply showing a leprechaun instantly makes people realise that the thing they are viewing has links to Ireland. This connection is ingrained in people all over the world. The question is, how did this begin?
According to The Real Word, leprechauns can be traced back to the 8th century. At this time, folklore started getting passed around by word of mouth concerning tiny, water-dwelling creatures. These stories developed over time, as tends to be the case with great fables.
Soon, leprechauns became known as the cobblers of the fairy world. In the past, belief in these creatures was widespread around the country, which is why their symbols became ubiquitous. Now, most people realise that they are fictional, but still enjoy the association the country has with them.
Ireland has a lot to be proud of, and the fact that the country’s main emblems are recognisable all over the world is an achievement. The relationship with leprechauns has been particularly successful, and it seems that these mythical creatures will be around forever.