The Shamrock Symbol:  An Unmistakable Sign of Your Love for the Emerald Isle!

Our family loves the beauty of the Irish shamrock symbol, and it appears on many of our expressions from jewelry to clothing to wall art.

Irish Shamrock.  Courtesy of Karen's

One phrase associated with this iconic symbol is to 'be in the clover' - meaning to live a happy, carefree life.  So here is wishing you a life in the clover!

How Long Has This Been a Thing?

The word 'shamrock' derives from a word in Gaelic meaning 'little clover.'  Various written references to this plant can be found as early as 1507.  In Irish writings you can find it referred to as far back in history as 1707.

The Druids in Ireland considered the little clover a sacred thing. They believed it had ability to scare off evil spirits, and they reportedly believed it had medicinal properties as well.

As a symbol of Ireland, with its typical 3 leaves on each stem, the shamrock is entangled with the belief that 3 is a magical and sacred number.

Legend holds that St Patrick used the shamrock in his teachings to discuss the holy trinity.

Shamrock Symbol.

Did You Know Snakes Can't Stand Shamrocks?

According to legend, St Patrick eliminated all snakes from Ireland. Many believe he purposefully covered the land with this special plant to keep snakes off the Island.  Since there are no snakes to be found in Ireland, this is proof to some people the legend is true!

According to our own scientific research, snakes will not live where this type of clover is grown no matter what country :-). 

It also appears that the plant has been used as a snake venom treatment!

The Irish Shamrock Symbol Gets Banned...

During the 1770s the Irish Volunteers used the Shamrock as their mark. It soon became a symbol of rebellion.  In fact it got so popular for this reason that it was banned by the Queen of England.

About this time, the song "Wearing of the Green" (click to visit a YouTube video in a separate tab) was written as a light-hearted protest over the banning of this important symbol.

Today the shamrock symbol it is simply a world-wide image of Irish culture and heritage.

How Can I Express My Irish Side Using the Irish Shamrock?

Well, one particularly creative way is to purchase and grow Irish Shamrock Seeds.

If you really want to get your hands dirty (pun intended) you can also buy real dirt from Ireland to grow them in (some believe that's the only way you can grown them).

  • Another way is to wear jewelry featuring the shamrock (such as the pendant illustrated above). 
  • Many items of informal clothing (T-shirts, hats, etc) can be worn, portraying this famous symbol!
  • Still another way is to use the shamrock symbol to decorate your home during special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, weddings, and so on.
  • And using the shamrock in various Irish kids crafts is another fun way to express your Irish side with this wonderful Irish symbol.

Want Even More Irish Symbols?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish symbols!

Expressing ourselves through Irish symbolism gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured many of our favorite Irish symbols in an e-book called "10 Irish Symbols and Their Meanings."  In it you will find pictures and backstories for the Irish Cross, the Celtic Knot, the Tricolor Flag, and much more!

This fun, free guide is available to you to download.  Simply scroll to the bottom and share your email address for instant access!