Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Our second-to-last post of Green Week is a quick and easy recipe that you can whip up alone or with the kids. Apple cinnamon rice cakes topped with white chocolate and Apple Jacks cereal are a healthier snack or dessert and mimic the colors of the Irish flag. Read on for the super simple recipe and to learn all about leprechauns!
I couldn’t convince Chai to participate in the Wearing of the Green but she did enjoy the Attacking of the Green.
A leprechaun (leipreachán) is a type of fairy in later Irish folklore, most likely derived from the Tuatha dé Danann, a supernatural race representing the main deities of the pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland. The word is probably derived from the Old Irish luchorpán, a compound of the roots lú and corp, meaning small body. According to David Russell McAnally, leprechauns were born of an evil spirit and a degenerate fairy but are “not wholly good nor wholly evil.” They are solitary and spend their time making and mending shoes. They also enjoy practical jokes and making mischief.
Leprechauns are typically depicted as small, bearded men wearing green coats and hats. These modern depictions of leprechauns are mostly based on derogatory 19th century caricatures and stereotypes of the Irish people. Prior to the 20th century, leprechauns were generally thought to be clothed in red. According to W.B. Yeats, ‘trooping faeries’ wear green and solitary fairies wear red. The exact manner of dress varied based on location.
The earliest known reference to leprechauns is in a medieval tale, The Adventure of Fergus Son Léti. In the story, a king falls asleep and wakes up while being kidnapped by three leprechauns. He turns the tables on the leprechauns and captures them. They grant the king three wishes in exchange for their release. This story lead to the belief that if you manage to trap a leprechaun, they will grant you three wishes in exchange for their freedom.
Leprechauns are very hard workers and are considered to be thrifty or even miserly. They accumulate large amounts of gold and bury it in pots, usually at the end of rainbows. According to legend, if you capture a leprechaun and maintain eye contact with him then he can’t escape. He must answer truthfully if you ask him where his treasure is buried. You must believe that leprechauns are real in order to trap one. In folklore, the protagonist generally catches the leprechaun with their bare hands but you could also set a trap. Creating a leprechaun trap out of household materials can be a fun children’s activity. Leprechaun traps are set the night before Saint Patrick’s Day and include gold coins to entice the leprechaun.
Green Week Features!
Apple Cinnamon Cereal Bites
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup Apple Jacks cereal
Set rice crisps ‘cup’ side up on microwave-safe dish.
Top evenly with white chocolate chips.
Microwave in 20-second intervals until chips are slightly melted and soft to the touch.
Press cereal into melted chocolate.
Allow to set.