Why Is There a Pot of Gold at the End of a Rainbow?

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In Irish mythology, the pot of gold is hidden at the end of a rainbow by a small member of the fairy family called the leprechaun. Humans who are lucky enough to spot a leprechaun by following the rainbow may still have problems catching him because the fairies bestowed upon leprechauns the magical ability to disappear.

In Irish mythology, the leprechaun is considered a trickster who often appears at night and is the cause of small mishaps around the house. The leprechaun is most often depicted as a very small old man wearing a leather apron and dressed in green. He usually has large silver buckles on his shoes. Although wary and mistrustful of humans, the leprechaun is known to occasionally ride sheep or even the family dog for sport. All leprechauns love gold and have their very own pot. Even though the rainbow tells people where the pot is, humans have to catch the leprechaun first in order to find it. Since fairies granted leprechauns the magical ability to grant three wishes or disappear, it is next to impossible for a person to actually find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Nevertheless, seeing a rainbow is still considered by many to be a sign of good fortune or luck.