Four leaf clovers can be seen everywhere on St. Patrick’s Day. It doesn’t matter if people are showing Irish pride or are happily paying homage to Irish traditions, on what originated as a Catholic holiday celebrating Ireland’s patron saint: Saint Patrick.
Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world on the 17th of March. Originally it was purely a Catholic holiday, but in the early 17th century Saint Patrick’s day became an official feast day. The celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day has endured to the present, and now it is more a celebration of Irish culture than a celebration of Saint Patrick himself.
The four leaf clover is a rare variation of the regular three leaf clover or shamrock. The legend is that four leaf clovers bring good luck to the people who find them, and especially if the finding is an accident. Over the years, images of the four leaf clover have been aligned with the Irish and with Saint Patrick’s Day. This is most likely because of the four leaf clover’s resemblance to the shamrock, which is a symbol of Ireland. The story is that Saint Patrick used a shamrock (a three leaved plant), to explain to the pagan people of Ireland the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity.
Even though the original color that people associated with Saint Patrick was blue, through the years it eventually became green. This is most likely due to people’s association between Saint Patrick and the shamrock. The tradition of wearing the color green, as well as wearing shamrocks and four leaf clovers, continues in present St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations.
Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world and is especially popular in the United States. There are quite a few major St. Patrick’s Day parades held to celebrate the holiday, the largest being in Boston, New York City, Chicago, and Savannah.
photo credit: kaibara87