Fun Facts About Four-Leaf Clovers for St. Patrick's Day
Why is the four-leaf clover a universal symbol for good luck? Learn the history and more facts about the unusual green plant associated with St. Patrick's Day.
History of Four-Leaf Clovers
Today, four-leaf clovers are associated with St. Patrick's Day, but they appear in centuries-old legends as symbols of good luck. The Druids (Celtic priests), in the early days of Ireland, believed that when they carried a three-leaf clover or shamrock, they could see evil spirits coming and have a chance to escape in time. Four-leaf clovers were Celtic charms, presumed to offer magical protection and ward off bad luck. Children in the Middle Ages believed if they carried a four-leaf clover, they would be able to see fairies, and the first literary reference to suggest their good fortune was made in 1620 by Sir John Melton.
Fast Facts About Four-Leaf Clovers
- There are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every "lucky" four-leaf clover.
- There are no clover plants that naturally produce four leaves, which is why four-leaf clovers are so rare.
- The leaves of four-leaf clovers are said to stand for faith, hope, love, and luck.
- It's often said that Ireland is home to more four-leaf clovers than any other place, giving meaning to the phrase "the luck of the Irish."