March 17 marks the St. Patrick’s Day, and there will be plenty of green all around. People from all spheres and walks of life will be seen adorning shades of green and celebrating the Irish culture.
But what should be known and understood – something that does relate to St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday that is celebrated in grand fashion each year – is that a shamrock is not interchangeable with a four leaf clover.
As a national symbol of Ireland, a shamrock shares a close relation with the country. It is said that Patrick, during his ministry in 5th century, explained the Holy Trinity to pagan natives using a shamrock. According to ABC News, Patrick said that just like the shamrock has three leaves, similarly God exists in three dimensions – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
As a young spring of white clover, which springs during winters, the word shamrock is derived from the Irish word ‘Seamrog,’ which can be translated to mean ‘little clover’ or ‘young clover.’
On the other hand, a four leaf clover is considered extremely special because it is so hard to find; which is why it is meant to represent God’s Grace, Metro.co.uk notes. It is believed that the four leaf clover was carried by Eve out of the Garden of Eden; and is widely known as a symbol of faith, hope, love and luck.
Some estimates say that one four leaf clover grows for every 10,000 of the three-leaf variety; something that highlights the rarity of the plant. This month, advertisements in the Toronto subway used the four leaf clover instead of a shamrock, because of which Guinness had to issue an apology, as reported by the Toronto Sun.
Meanwhile, with St. Patrick’s Day also arrives the Shamrock Shake – a minty beverage that is topped with whipped cream and cherries and, just like the four leaf clover, is sometimes very rare to find. Introduced as the St. Patrick’s Shake in 1970, it is available in stores in the United States, Canada and Ireland, Quartz notes. Philadelphia, which houses the Ronald McDonald’s House, is the leading city in Shamrock Shake sales.
While McDonald’s does not have a map that lists the stores where the Shamrock Shake is available, websites like ShakeLocator.com or ShamrockShake.com help track these stores.