You probably associate four-leaf clovers with St. Patrick and Shamrocks, but the tradition started long before that.
In the early days of Ireland, the Druids believed that they could see evil spirits coming when they carried a shamrock, or three-leaf clover, giving them a chance to get away in time! They thought four-leaf clovers offered magical protection, and warded off bad luck.
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It’s mostly their importance as a Celtic charm that has carried forward in modern days to make four-leaf clovers a sign of luck. The leaves of four-leaf clovers as a lucky charm can stand for:
According to Christian legend, Eve is said to have carried a four-leaf clover with her when she left the Garden of Eden. That means that anyone who has one can claim to hold a bit of Paradise.
Later, St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, used a Shamrock – which has three leaves – to explain the Holy Trinity – one each for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Christians also viewed the four-leaf clover as lucky for its resemblance to the cross. Some even believe that the fourth leaf symbolizes the Grace of God.
The Irish often say that the green hills of the Emerald Isle (Ireland) contain more four-leaf clovers than anywhere else. Hence, the “luck o’ the Irish.”
Children in the Middle Ages believed that they could see fairies if they carried a four-leaf clover. It became a great game for them to search the garden first for a four-leaf clover, and again for fairies!
The odds of finding a four-leaf clover have been calculated at 10,000 to 1! If you do find one, you are lucky indeed.
However, the Irish also believe that while finding a four-leaf clover will bring you good luck, finding a clover stem with 5 or more leaves is actually unlucky!
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