As we near the magical Irish celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, it is important to get all your ducks, I mean shamrocks in a row. Because it’s literally time to get your green on folks.
The month of March for many of us has come to mean adorable little leprechaun figurines, delicious fast food minty milkshakes, and festive shamrock house flags are just a few of the Saint Patrick’s Day decorating traditions that are becoming increasingly popular. Not to mention the Irish themed apparel and St. Patrick’s Day jewelry accessories for the holiday. I mean who doesn’t love some Irish jewelry like a great pair of Shamrock Earrings or a sassy Lil’ Irish Devil Shamrock Necklace guaranteed to grab some attention at the party or pub.
But have you ever sat down and pondered why shamrocks? Why are shamrocks associated with St. Patrick’s Day? Are Shamrocks as lucky as four-leaf clovers are?
Despite the fact that many of us have been seeing shamrocks or clovers in our backyards and sidewalks or have made some related shamrock craft since childhood during the month of March for St. Patrick’s Day we dont know why? Many have spent their whole lives without giving shamrock meaning much thought, and dont know the origins of the shamrock. So here’s the truth on shamrocks and Saint Patrick’s Day.
What exactly are shamrocks?
Shamrocks are a three-leaf clover, a very common version of the clover. As a matter of fact, the name “shamrock” derives from the Irish word “seamróg,”. The Irish word seamróg, which is the diminutive of the Irish word seamair óg and simply means “young clover”. The only difference between a shamrock and a four-leaf clover is that one leaf is missing from the latter. Four-leaf clovers, on the other hand, are very unusual, with just one in every 10,000 clovers having four leaves. So if you happen to come upon one, you’re considered lucky.
It is said that shamrocks represent St. Patrick’s Day because St. Patrick was a Christian missionary who used a clover to teach the Holy Trinity of Christianity, which is composed of three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (also known as the trinity of God). He said that the three leaves represent the three divine entities, and that the stem represents the way in which they are unified into one.
The shamrock was also adopted as an emblem of St. Patrick, who was eventually designated as the patron saint of Ireland. As part of their celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in 1681, people began pinning a shamrock to their clothing, a practice that has survived to this day – not only in Ireland, but throughout the whole world. And, because shamrocks are green, people ultimately began to dress in green on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the holiday.