The shamrock has been considered the national flower of Northern Ireland since ancient times. This ancient plant is a variety of common clover.
A simple clover grows with four petals, while a shamrock has only three leaves. Finding such an option in nature means attracting good luck, but in natural conditions, shamrocks are rare.
What does the shamrock symbolize?
Today, the three-leaf clover is considered the official trade logo of Ireland. Even before the arrival of Christianity in this country, the shamrock was a sacred plant of the Celts.
According to beliefs, the discovery of such a clover in a forest or field promised wealth to the lucky owner. Some Celtic communities believed that the shamrock grows on the site where the treasure was previously buried. Three-leaf clover was chewed with pleasure in order to fulfill the most cherished dream in reality.
Christians also adopted the shamrock for their own needs. The first depictions of the plant in Northern Ireland with the advent of Christianity date back to 1600.
One of the main Irish holidays, St. Patrick’s Day, is also associated with this clover. It is the image of the shamrock on houses and clothes, as well as the ubiquitous green color, that indicate the onset of the famous day of universal fun.
The tradition of using green clover as a national symbol united paganism and Christianity, at least briefly reconciling their different concepts with each other. Today, during the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, many Irish people decorate their hair and costumes with clover, they arrange carnivals and festive services, after which they throw clover into whiskey, and then drink a cocktail for good luck.