St. Patrick's Day: So Whats the Deal with the Shamrock? What to Tell the Kids

What's the Deal with the Shamrock?

I don’t know about your kid, but mine, she asks a lot of questions. Sometimes I know the answers, but many times I don’t.  She tends to ask a lot of questions about things that we – as adults-  just take for granted. Case in point. The shamrock. Why is the clover ubiquitous with St. Paddy’s Day? Here’s the answer just in case little Jimmy or Jane asks.

Saint Patrick lived in the 4th century and was born in Britain. He was kidnapped, taken to Ireland as a slave but escaped back to Britain.  He became a priest and returned to Ireland as an evangelist to educate all those Irish pagans about Christianity. One way he would teach the Irish about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? By using the three leafed clover or shamrock as a representation of the Holy Trinity.  In the early 17th century, the shamrock was adopted as a symbol of not just Holy family Trinity but of St. Patrick and Ireland as a whole and has been popular ever since.

These days when you see all the balloons, t-shirts, and hats adorned with the shamrock, it’s true symbolism has really gotten lost.  But now you know the back story!