Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Story behind the Shamrock & the 4 leaf Clover

Nov 16, 2010

Are a Shamrock and a 4-leaf Clover the same thing? Well after much research I’m still confused. Some say a shamrock is a 3-leaf clover. Some say a 4-leaf clover could be considered a shamrock with 4 leaves. In any case a shamrock is a clover, but for most Irish, the 3-leaf clover is considered the shamrock and the 4-leaf clover is NOT considered a shamrock, but is considered LUCKY because it is rare.

WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear Green Shamrock Belt Buckle

WATTO was told by many of our customers that we needed to add a 3-leaf clover to our handmade belt buckle and accessory line as we only had a 4-leaf clover (that we were then calling a shamrock). We’ve now added both the 3-leaf (Shamrock) and the 4-leaf Clover to our line to satisfy everyone! (see end of blog for details.)

There are so many reasons why the shamrock is linked to Ireland. Although the harp is the official symbol of Ireland, the shamrock is still the most recognized symbol of Ireland. Here are a few reasons why.

Shamrock is derived from the Irish word “seamrog” meaning “summer plant” or “little clover” and was said to be a symbol of life.

WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear Silver Charm Moneyclip

“Be in Clover”
Live a life of prosperity and ease and “Be in Clover.” This is the most common saying associated with the Shamrock.

WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear
Handmade Distressed Shamrock Belt Buckle

The Druids
One of the first to be linked to the Shamrock were The Druids. They were and indigenous people of Ireland and their Celtic religion held the number three a mystical number. The three petals that formed a triad led the Druids to hold this little gem as sacred.
Shanon Larkin of Godsmack
with WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear
green Shamrock Charm with Gunmetal Chain
St. Patrick
Way back in Ireland around the 5th century or so, St. Patrick was going about his business spreading the word of Christianity. Now it's always easier to show things with an image and particularly in those days when people were a little less educated and needed simple stories or visuals to understand things. And let’s face it; religion can be a little complex.

So, St. Patrick spied a 3-leaf clover and said to himself, “Ahha, this little lovely creation can help me explain the meaning of the Holy Trinity.” Therefore, he went on to show the people how each leaf symbolized one aspect of the Holy Trinity- The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. Three separate leaves, but one stem. It was also said to symbolize the three theological virtues in Corinthians 13:13- Faith, Hope and Love.

Perttuu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica
with WATTO Disitnctive Metal Wear
silver Shamrock charm on gunmetal chain

Ireland Rebels

Who would have known this little green plant had so much power. In the 19th century the shamrock was seen as a sign of rebellion against the English. If caught wearing the symbol, it was rumored that an Irish man could be hung. Since then it has been used as a symbol in Irish pubs to show the warmth and welcoming of the establishment.
WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear
silver shamrock charm with gunmetal keychain

If you are going out hunting for gold, make sure to take a Shamrock with you. Apparently it has magical powers against the Leprechauns who guard the gold, and will turn to trickery or magic if you capture them to find the gold’s whereabouts. Only the Shamrock can undo the spell.

Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies
with WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear
green shamrock charm with gunmetal keychain

Why is the 4-leaf Clover considered Lucky?
Well, the 4-leaf clover is still the rare one, and so finding one in a clover patch would be considered lucky. Remember looking for those as kids and making clover necklaces? Or, maybe we only did that in the Midwest.

The four petals stand for: HOPE, FAITH, LOVE, and the 4th petal for LUCK!

WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear Green 4-Leaf Clover Belt Buckle

WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear now has Shamrock designs in:
Handmade belt buckles
Handmade Charms on Money Clip
Handmade Charms on gunmetal chains ($30):
Handmade Charms on Key chains ($15):

WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear now has 4-leaf Clover designs in:
Handmade belt buckles ($55):
Charms for chains, key chains and money clips available upon request.

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