The four leaf clover is synonymous with Saint Patrick's Day and the Irish people. It is also recognized throughout most of the world as a symbol of good luck.
The four petals of the 4 leaf clover are believed to represent Hope, Faith, Love, and Luck. According to folklore finding a four leaf clover bestows upon the finder the representation of the clover's fourth leaf which is the representation of luck. The finding of a 4 leaf clover is thought to bless it's finder with good luck.
It is not known exactly when this tradition began but there are many theories as to how this theory came into being. It is a custom which may likely have originated with the three leafed shamrock plant in Ireland, but regardless of how this folklore came to be, it is a tradition which charms most of those who happen to be lucky enough to find this rare plant in their wanderings.
Why is a Four Leaf Clover Thought to Bring Good Luck?
The recognition of the 4 leaf clover is thought to have originated with Saint Patrick of Ireland who used the three leaf shamrock plant to demonstrate the Holy Trinity to his followers.
Saint Patrick used the three leaves and the adjoining stem of the shamrock plant to explain the father, the son, and the holy ghost to his followers. The religious affiliation of the plant within this lesson forever marked the Shamrock as being special within the minds of his religious followers.
The shamrock and other clover plants being very similar in structure made it easy for other species of this plant to also bear this religious connection.
It is thus strongly believed that the tradition of a four leaf clover as a good luck symbol began in Ireland courtesy of Saint Patrick's Holy Trinity lesson.
There are of Course Other Theories
There are many types of clover but very few 4 leaf clovers and this may be the reasoning as to why these plants are considered to be so very lucky to their finders.
Did you ever wonder how rare a four leaf clovers is?
Four leaf clovers are indeed rare with there being only one for approximately every 10,000 three leaf clovers that you stumble onto.
Odds of 1 in every 10,000 are slim pickings indeed so the finding of a four leaf clover may be considered lucky simply because of how rare this event is. A person is lucky to find one. If a person has a superstitious nature then finding a rare four leaf clover may be well worth the hunt.
A Lucky Celtic Charm of Days Long Past?
Another belief as to why four leaf clovers are considered lucky once again begins with the three leafed shamrock.
It is the fact that the clover plant has 3 leaves on each stem as to why they are designated as a good luck symbol.
The plant was viewed as lucky due its relationship with the number three and the Celtic Triple Goddess.
Because finding a four leaf clover is such a rare find the traditional 3 leaf symbolism moved forward to have 4 leaf clovers as offering up exceptionally good luck to its finder.
Then there is also the theory that Druids are the reason this plant is now viewed as a lucky charm. An early legend hints that it was the Celtic Priests (Druids as they were also known) who designated the four leaf clover as being symbolically lucky.
These priests bestowed the four leaf clover with the power of Celtic charms so powerful that it was believed these lucky multi leafed plants possessed the ability to ward off evil spirits and demons. Lucky indeed.
Its Health Benefits May Also Contribute to its Reputation
The legend of four leaf clovers and luck could also have formed simply because of the rich nutrient and medicinal properties found within this plant.
The finding of a clover plant would have been viewed as a source of good luck because not only could the household use the medicine within this plant for themselves but any of their livestock grazing on the clover would also be healthier and deliver better milk. Red Clover is especially recognized for its health benefits.
Whatever the reason why it was first thought of as a lucky omen, the facts of this tradition have long ago been buried in history. Fortunately we are still able to enjoy its symbolism even today.
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