Of all the symbols associated with the Luck of the Irish, the shamrock is one of the most popular and potent. A four-leaf clover is certainly rare; not as rare as Unicorn dust, so if you do manage to find one you need to make sure you hold onto it tight! Let’s take a closer look at why shamrocks are considered to be so lucky.
Just take a look at some of the games at casino and betting like https://www.mrgreen.com/ie/betting for example. If you can see an Irish-themed one, chances are it will have shamrocks somewhere! They are one of the most common motifs of Ireland and Irish imagery, associated with luck, good fortune and the crock of gold which every self-respecting leprechaun owns.
Firstly, it is important to understand that not all shamrocks are four-leaf clovers. Shamrocks are just clovers themselves with three leaves. So, all four-leaf clovers are shamrocks, but not all shamrocks are four-leaf clovers. They become lucky when they have that fourth leaf added in.
To understand where this belief in the power of four-leaf clovers comes from, we have to look back in time to pre-Christian Ireland. The shamrock is associated closely with St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and it is believed that he taught the Irish about the Christian God using the plant. Each of the leaves represented a part of the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In addition to this, each of the leaves of the clover has its own meaning. When there are just three leaves, they stand for faith, hope, and love. If there was a fourth leaf on the clover, this would be for luck. It is a mutation, not something that occurs often, so it is lucky to even exist.
Associated with Ireland
Due to this connection with St Patrick, four-leafed clovers are tied to Ireland and Irish culture. No matter where you turn, you are likely to encounter shamrocks of either the three- or four-leaf variety when looking at Irish imagery! We even have some on our site – our shamrock buckles can be the perfect addition to your Irish dancing costume.
Some might consider them to be a little stereotypical, but they are the national flower of Ireland – just as the thistle is for Scotland or the daffodil for Wales and the Rose of England. You cannot help but think of Ireland when you see them.
Could You Find a Shamrock?
If you want to find a shamrock in the form of just regular clover then you have no trouble doing so. This is one of the most common plants in gardens and public places, so it should not be too difficult for you to find some. If you want to find proper Irish shamrocks, perhaps to add to your garden, you should look for one of three different varieties, since no one can agree on what the “true” shamrock is!
The first is trifolium dubium, which is one of the most popular options. It can be found all around the world now, but it is native to Europe. Another variety often used is trifolium repens. This is more commonly known as white clover. Finally, you might also look for oxalis acetosella, or other members of the oxalis family.
As for your chances of finding a mythical four-leaf clover? Most reckon that this comes in at around 1 in 5000. Compare this to the 1 in 12,000 odds of finding a pearl in an oyster or the 1 in 114,195 odds of being struck by lightning, and it actually seems fairly likely that you might happen across a four-leaf clover at some point!
Shamrocks are a big part of Irish imagery, there is no denying that, and they are also considered lucky by many around the planet. It is little wonder that they are loved by so many.