We have all heard of the Pennsylvania Groundhog that predicts future weather patterns on Groundhog day but the Irish also have a weather predictor known as the "First Leprechaun".
Every St. Bridget's Day, 1st of February, the first Leprechaun of the season appears from his/her winter hibernation. It is always in the same village, Slingawelly in the county of Sligo. Awaiting them is the mayor of the village who is also the town barber and the town policeman.
The trick is to hold the Leprechaun upside down, face away from the body, because they can and often do bite. Wouldn't you if some large person held you upside down for any length of time. Now while they are upside down, if their beard that has been growing steadily whist in hibernation drops below their forehead it will be a long hot summer. Some Leprechauns with lesser head hair use their chin hair as a comb-over. If they have short stubby beards, like a wire wool kitchen scrubber, then it will be a cold and wet summer when all they need on their heads is the traditional green top hat and plentiful supplies of Guinness.
Predictions have been proven to be far more accurate than those attributed to the Groundhog, but quantities of Leprechauns are getting less and less each year as similar to the priesthood, less and less folk are are wanting to become Leprechauns, so we have no idea how long this treasured Irish ritual will be continued for.
Anyone interested in applying for the role of leprechaun will have to wait for that's another story for another day.