Monday, 14 March 2011

Shamrocks!


By: Stephanie Burkhart


With St. Patrick's Day fastly approaching, it's okay to go green and celebrate. The Shamrock is a native planet to Ireland. Shockingly, I discovered it's a…weed! It's registered as a trademark by the Irish government. Symbolic for Ireland, this little plant has a unique history.

A shamrock is a 3 leaf clover that is very populous in Ireland. It's been said when St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, he used the shamrock to help illustrate the Holy Trinity and how it could be three (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) in one entity.

It's medicinal properties including helping as an antidote to snake and scorpion bites.

Interesting notes:

A shamrock is in the lower right corner of the flag of the city of Montreal, Canada, representative of the Irish population of the city.

Queen Victoria decreed soldiers from Ireland should wear a sprig of shamrock to recognize those fellow soldiers who fought bravely during the Boer war.

Don't confuse a 3 leaf shamrock with a 4 leaf clover. A 4 leaf clover is good luck!

Does anyone else have any cool shamrocks facts or stories to share?

Relax and go green on the 17th!

Let me leave you with a couple of Irish sayings:

Idleness is a fool's desire.

3 things come without asking: fear, jealousy, and love.

That butter and whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for.

12 comments:

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks for this fun, jaunty blog, Steph!

Maggie Toussaint said...

I adored your post about Shamrocks, Steph.

I haven't spent much time weeding my yard in coastal Georgia - its nothing but weeds and sand - but in Maryland, my kids and I often sat in the grass and looked for 4-leaf clovers among our shamrocks, er, weeds.

We would occassionally find one which would lead to great rejoicing and then quarrels as there would be two little girls and one magical sprig. Through time I realized that often the abnormality of four leaves is a trait and as such is probably reproduced nearby.

Sadly, clover has a pretty little whitish pink blossom which attracts bees. Not good for barefoot little girls.

Okay - enough with the reminiscing. I need to get some word count on the screen.

Maggie
and the green green weeds of home

StephB said...

Lindsay, it's fun to be green this week. Hehehe.

Maggie, how cool about hanging out with the Shamrocks. Reminds me when I was a girl in NE and we'd go to Hampton Beach, NH and scour the sand looking for razor clams. LOL!!

As for Shamrocks, I got some green socks with shamrocks for Andrew to wear to school on Thursday!

Smiles
Steph

Gabby said...

I never thought such a little plant could do so much. I didn't know it was a weed either. Neat!

Mona Risk said...

Steph-- I often wear green, my favorite color--so I'll go green the whole week. LOL

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Hi Lindsay and Steph!!

Green is my favorite color and St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite days! Here's a post I just added to Paranormal Mondays:

Who was Saint Patrick?

It is believed St. Patrick was born in the fourth century. He is the patron saint of Ireland and is the one who brought Christianity to Ireland. He is also known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. It’s true there are no snakes on the emerald island, but it is believed there were never any snakes because the island was separated from the continent at the end of the Ice Age.

St. Patrick encountered the Druids at Tara and probably abolished their pagan rites. The story is St. Patrick converted the warrior chiefs and the princes. It is possible the driving of the snakes from Ireland was simply a symbol of putting an end to the pagan rites. One of the stories about St. Patrick is how he explained the Holy Trinity to the Celtic people. They were having difficulty understanding how there could be three in one. It is said he used a shamrock for the example. Showing them the shamrock had three leaves, yet it is only one plant. He told them to imagine that each leaf represented the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit as each of these leaves. The reason St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th is the theory St. Patrick died on this day. The holiday started in Ireland. So we tend to think of everything Irish for that day: shamrocks, anything green, leprechauns and gold. The traditional day was for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide. In America there is a large Irish population and St. Patrick’s Day is a very big deal. People wear green shirts, hats, ties and pins. Even some of the bars and pubs serve green beer on St. Patrick's Day. Every year on March 17th or the Saturday before, a St. Patrick’s Day parade takes place in the cities with a large population of Irish Americans. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration to take place in the U.S. was in Massachusetts, 1737. New York City had there first St. Patrick's Day on March 17, 1762.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Steph,
I loved your post about shamrocks and had no idea the Irish gov't had trademarked it. I don't have any cool shamrock or four-leaf clover stories other than the bartenders at Ri Ra (a wonderful Irish Pub in Charlotte) used to put four-leaf clovers on my friends' Guinness. Others just got shamrocks.

StephB said...

Gabby, I didn't know it was a weed either. Pretty cool, huh?

Mona, I'm going green, too. I've got some corned beef, Irish stew and some Smithwicks waiting for me on the 17th. LOL!! I have some Newcastle, too, but I think that's more English.

Karen,
absolutely fascinating to learn that "driving the snakes" might be a metaphor for driving away the pagan beliefs. Thanks so much for sharing, Sweetie.

Keena,

You can't go wrong with a four leaf clover!

Go Green this week!
Smiles
Steph

Savanna Kougar said...

Steph, wonderful post. I used to love finding four leaf clovers. I say weeds are a good thing.

Happy St. Pat's Day!

alym said...

I'm off to get me some butter and whiskey for what ails me!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Great post. I love St. Patrick's Day.

StephB said...

Savanna, I never knew weeds were so cool. hehe.

Aly, *wink* I'm right behind you!

Caroline, I love it to. It's a day where you can just have fun. Everyone's green on St. Patrick's.

Smiles
Steph