What Is A Shamrock Anyway? No One Knows For Sure

Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, people are sure to ask, “What is a shamrock anyway?” St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, and some people go all out to celebrate. They wear green, eat corn beef and cabbage, wear shamrocks on their lapels and celebrate in so many other ways. The Irish celebrate, as well as people who are not so Irish. However, no one seems to know what a shamrock is even though it has become a symbol of Ireland.

First of all, a shamrock is a plant. However, don’t confuse the shamrock with a four-leaf clover just because they are both small and green. The two plants are entirely difference for a reason that is quite visible. A shamrock has only three leaves, but the four-leaf clover has four leaves, according to its name.

USA Today reported that the shamrock is about legend instead of botany. According to a legend, St. Patrick compared the three leaves of the shamrock to the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick used the three leaves to symbolize how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can be separate but also part of the same entity. By doing this, he showed people how the church was connected. For this reason, the Druids in Ireland began to look at the shamrock as a sacred plant.

Natural World News reported that the iconic shamrock had been a symbol of Irish pride and St. Patrick’s Day for as long as people can remember. What people should know is that no one plant is a shamrock. Many plants are part of a species that people consider to be shamrocks.

Even though there is no scientific proof what a shamrock really is, the logo appears on products in Ireland and around the world because people consider the shamrock lucky. Notice the shamrock logo is seen on many things not only on St. Patrick’s Day but on any given day.

The Boston Celtics basketball team uses the shamrock as their logo. Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal nicknamed himself the “Big Shamrock” when he played for the Boston Celtics. Lucky Charms are in the shape of shamrocks, and the cereal’s logo is a shamrock. A shamrock is located in the lower right quadrant of the official flag of the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada as well as featured in Canadian Coat of Arms. The fictitious Irish National Quidditch team used the shamrock as part of their emblem in the Harry Potter series.

Shamrocks don’t come out just on March 17. Can you remember seeing a shamrock used by a business as part of its advertisement?

[Image via Shutterstock]

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