Ireland: A mythical land

Everybody knows about mythical Ireland. Some because of St. Patrick’s Day and Guinness, some because of its Celtic culture, or maybe because of Skellig Michael, where Star Wars was filmed. Perhaps you took a trip through Dublin, Galway, Belfast, and other highlights of that little green country. Made a round tour without a car to see The Game of Thrones filming locations and checked Rathlin Island or Dunluce Castle on the way. Or went on a self-drive holiday to enjoy the stunning green scenery of its coast.

Ireland offers experiences you will not forget, like many fascinating museums where you can learn about Irish tradition and history. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, Rock’n’Roll Museum, Kilmainham Gaol Museum, or Guinness Storehouse, and these are just a glimpse of many that the country offers to a wandering tourist. One thing is for sure, you will not walk out from their thirsty and with an empty stomach considering many traditional Irish restaurants, food markets, cider festival, and, of course, whiskey.

But what makes Ireland so mythical? The country’s history and culture are full of magical tales, legends, and folklore which gives you that magical fairytale feeling when visiting. Honestly, Irish scenery and whiskey are kind of enough by themselves to put you into that dreamy mood but let’s dig in into some famous Irish tales.

THE LEPRECHAUNS

Considering they are the cultural symbol of Ireland, of course, they must be mentioned. The name “Leprechaun” can be translated as “shoemaker˝. They have red hair and unique hat and can not be trusted. The legend says that you can find their pot of gold at the end of a rainbow so when you are leaving one of the famous Irish pubs, make sure to try.

MERMAIDS

We all know mermaids from pop culture as beautiful women. But in Irish legends, they are described as pig-faced with sharp teeth and are referred to as “merrows”. A mermaid was said to be formed when a woman was drowned in the creation of Lough Neagh. They would come ashore and have a relationship with a man before leaving them to return to the cold sea.

THE POOKA

The pooka was said to bring good or bad luck to those who saw them and is one of the most feared creatures in Irish mythology. They are shape-changers who often took a form of a wild dog with red eyes but could also take a form of a goblin. They are often considered evil and bloodthirsty, but there are also tales of them warning humans of accidents or being harnessed as protection.

THE LEGEND OF THE GIANT`S CAUSWAY

This legend is one of the best-known tales from Irish mythology and aims to offer an alternative insight into how the Causeway was formed. It tells the story of a battle between an Irish giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill and a Scottish giant. A Scottish giant challenged the Irish giant to a fight, but the problem was how to get from Ireland to Scotland. Fionn decided that the quickest way across would be to build a path strong enough to hold his weight, so he made his way to Antrim coast and began tearing up large chunks of coastline and firing them into the water. When he built a path far enough to see that the Scottish giant was too big to fight with, he went home, where his wife disguised him as a baby and put him into a giant cradle. When the Scottish giant came and saw the size of the baby, he ran back to Scotland in fear of Fionn’s size. Nowadays, those visiting the Giant’s Causeway can get a glimpse of the area where Fionn first began creating his path to Scotland long ago.

All in all, Ireland is one mythical place with many tales and stories that date back thousands of years. They have been told time and time again usually pass from parent or teacher to child and now to all of us who seek interesting destinations to travel to. Good luck to you all with your search for a pot of gold.

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