Saint Patrick’s Day falls on March 17 and even though it is an Irish tradition, it is celebrated all over the world. In the US, we generally celebrate by wearing green clothes and shamrocks and indulging in an Irish or green beer. Parades are a common celebrations, as is eating corned beef and cabbage. Chicago even dyes the river green.
The shamrock is associated with Saint Patrick’s Day because Ireland’s patron saint, you guessed it, Saint Patrick, used the plant to explain to his followers the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit. March 17 is believed to be the day of his death. People wore shamrocks on their coats and closed the day by “drowning the shamrock” — placing it in the bottom of a glass of whiskey or beer before drinking.
You will see four leaf clovers being referred to as shamrocks but that’s wrong. Shamrocks have three leaves and, of course, the lucky clover has four. The four-leaf clover is believed to be “lucky” because they are rarely found (1 in 10,000) and to find one will bring you good luck. Legend has it that if you eat one, a genie appears and grants you three wishes which must be used within one year. I have pressed and dried these and carried them in my wallet for years and all I had to do was eat it! How did I not know this!?
It is believed the four leaves represent faith, hope, love and the fourth is for luck. Supposedly a five leafed clover can be found, and the fifth leaf represents money. Yeah, I never found one of those either…just my luck!
And don’t be fooled by these impostors as the lucky four leaf clover.
Oh, and you know those three wishes I mentioned? Another Irish legend is if you catch a leprechaun, he will grant you three wishes in exchange for his freedom. I always thought it was a genie that granted three wishes and that they came out of a bottle! If you want to study up on the leprechaun to increase your chances, here’s an article.