Saint Patrick & Shamrocks, A Brief History

It has long been understood that shamrocks go hand in hand with Irish heritage. The custom of wearing a shamrock when celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day is commonly seen around the world to this day. Spread some Irish luck throughout your home and speak to Irish heritage with these themed items just right for year round display or special occasions like Saint Patrick’s Day.
Irish Blessing Sign

Looking at History

Shamrocks have been used as the symbol of Ireland since the 18th century. Into the 19th century, the shamrock began to appear alongside the rose, thistle and leek, the symbols for England, Scotland and Wales respectively. Shamrock symbolism continued to strengthen, appearing in ballads and popular songs of the time. Association between Saint Patrick and shamrocks stems from the 5th century where imagery of Saint Patrick depicts him preaching to crowds while holding a shamrock in his hand. The first official mention of the connection does not come until 1681 when Englishman Thomas Dinley accounted his travels to Ireland with mention of the shamrock tied to Saint Patrick’s Day.

Kiss Me Sign
Irish Lace Shortbread Pan Irish Blessing Soup Bowl

Shay O' Shaughnessy Sculpture Fun Facts about Shamrocks

  • The shamrock is actually a registered trademark of the Government of Ireland.
  • “Shamrock” is derived from Irish seamr√≥g, the diminutive version of the Irish word for clover (seamair) meaning simply “little clover” or “young clover”.
  • Shamrocks traditionally have three leaves. Those with four are considered rare and therefore lucky.
  • Speaking of lucky, experts claim that there are 10,000 3-leaf clovers for every 4-leaf clover. Lucky find, indeed.
  • There is no “shamrock plant” so to speak, but there are thousands of varieties of clovers.
Ode to the Shamrock

“Oh The Shamrock – Through Erin’s Isle, To sport awhile, As Love and Valor wander’d With Wit, the sprite, Whose quiver bright A thousand arrows squander’d. Where’er they pass, A triple grass Shoots up, with dew-drops streaming, As softly green As emeralds seen Through purest crystal gleaming. Oh the Shamrock, the green immortal Shamrock! Chosen leaf Of Bard and Chief, Old Erin’s native Shamrock!”

From Oh the Shamrock by Thomas Moore.

Sweet Kelly Green Sculpture

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