The irish shamrock

Irish shamrock - Satura_
Irish shamrock - Satura_

It is the symbol of Ireland, its culture, its folklore, and the green Irish valleys. We are talking about the clover (Seamrog in Gaelic), this trilobed plant, which was once used by St. Patrick, to explain to King Aengus, the concept of the Holy Trinity… But the symbolism of this plant does not stop there and is also perceived as a good luck charm, which gives luck to anyone who finds a clover with 4 leaves…

History of the Irish clover

A religious and national symbol

Legend has it that the three-leaf clover was used by St. Patrick on his mission to evangelize Ireland.

While he was trying to convert King Aengus to the Christian cause in the religious centre of Caiseal, St. Patrick had the idea of using a 3-leaf clover to illustrate the Holy Trinity.

According to him, each leaf represents an entity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The clover as a whole, represents God, which helps to explain that God is present in 3 persons (Triur i n-Aon in Gaelic: “three persons in one”). This illustration spread all over Ireland, and very soon this plant was associated with Saint Patrick, and then with the whole of Ireland.

Many Celtic crosses were engraved with clovers, and the famous Book of Kells contains countless illuminations depicting the plant.

Over the centuries, the clover became so popular in Ireland that the British began to call Ireland by the name “Shamrogshire“, which means “Shamrockie“, a visibly mocking and pejorative term. Today, the shamrock is still a strong symbol of Irish national identity. It represents Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day, its wild landscape and the conversion of the island to Christianity.

The Shamrock in Irish Daily

On St. Patrick’s Day

Every 17th of March in Ireland is a feast dedicated to St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Irish, who is known for his contribution to the conversion of Ireland to Christianity.

On this day, the shamrock is worn proudly by the Irish, whether it is painted on a cheek or sewn on folk clothing…

Everything is a pretext to recall that this plant was one of the major tools of the Saint to facilitate the conversion of Ireland to the Christian religion!

In Sport

Any rugby fan will tell you that the symbol of the Irish national rugby team is the shamrock. It’s not for nothing that the team is called the 15th of Clubs!

The team wears a green and white outfit, with a 3-leaf clover logo as a reminder of their origins, and thus their national identity.

So much more to discover...