When I think of St. Patrick’s Day, I think of shamrocks. I know that shamrocks are a type of clover, and that if you find a four-leaf one you’re considered lucky. But I was interested in the history of the shamrock and did a little digging around…here’s what I found.
The shamrock was grown in ancient Ireland by druids who treasured the plant because of its resemblance to the Celtic triple spiral image. It was later adapted to Christianity – Saint Patrick used the clover to explain the Holy Trinity (three representations of one God). This is why it has become somewhat of a religious symbol as well.
And while we all think of four leaf clover as lucky, it’s actually the three leaf clover that is prized and important for its historical and religious representations. Originally these shamrocks were grown and prized for their three leaves, and in fact a four leaf clover cannot be called an Irish Shamrock.
So why are shamrocks considered lucky? The idea of lucky clover was created by the Druids and Celtics, who realized how rare a four leaf clover was, and believed it was protection against hostile spirits. And you do have to be really lucky to find one – only one natural four leaf clover grows for every 10,000 three leaf clovers!
Celebrities believe in the luck of the four leaf clover shamrocks as well. Actresses Joely Fisher and Melanie Griffith have small clover tattoos on their ankles. Richard Grieco has a clover tattoo on his calf. Musician Jamie Walters has a clover tattoo and he paired his with a couple of dice, showing how he is hoping that it will bring him real luck.
Photo: PR Photos