A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com - Irish folklore and mythology are full of fascinating heroes, gods, goddesses, ugly creatures, and funny figures famous worldwide.
Let's take a closer look at a little controversial relative to the famous leprechaun.
This little fellow, known as Clurichaun (or cluricaun), is considered a cousin and an 'evil image’ of a leprechaun known to have inhabited Ireland long before the arrival of the Celts.
Almost always drunk and hostile, the Clurichaun lives a solitary and adventurous life. During night hours, he entertains himself by riding sheep and sheepdogs at night as if they were horses.
The clurichaun looks like a little man about six inches in height, with a wrinkled face, sparkling eyes, and a nose that is red from heavy drinking.
He wears a red nightcap with golden lace, a red suit, a short leather apron, blue stockings, and silver-buckled shoes. He is often depicted with a purse full of silver.
Unlike leprechauns, these creatures do not like to work. Leprechauns often assist a person in small household tasks and work with shoemaking. The clurichauns avoid housework.
Tradition has it that the clurichaun guards pubs, breweries, and wine cellars, particularly those belonging to alcoholics. Besides the creature’s love of drinking, he enjoys pipe smoking and spends much time in the wine cellar, which is his favorite place. No intruders are welcomed there, and he chases away anyone who would enter the site to steal a bottle.
His solitary drinking sessions take place in the cellar, where he sometimes works to prevent casks from leaking and keep the wine from turning bad.
Clurichaun. Image credit: The Irish Post
He is hard to get rid of, for if an owner tries to move, the clurichaun will make the owner a company traveling inside a cask. If the maids do not feed him well, this naughty fellow comes out at night and harasses them.
The family, tired of the Clurichaun’s existence, often decides to pack up and move to another place, but it is pointless and has the opposite effect.
As soon as they reach their new home, the mischievous creature is already there, showing its troublesome nature, ready to spill all your wine and cause much damage to the household, disturbing its order and harmony, making noise day and night.
The clurichaun is sometimes portrayed carrying a jug of ale. A representation of a Clurichaun in T. C. Croker's Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. Image source
The Clurichauns are tricksters and jokers but also very loyal creatures. They tend to attach themselves to families, especially the rich ones with the best wine cellars.
Despite their often troublesome nature, the clurichauns take special care of the family to whom they have attached themselves.
Updated on July 20, 2022
Written by - A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com Senior Staff Writer
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Expand for references
Bane, T. Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology
Matthews, J; Matthews, C. The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures