At thortful HQ we’re big fans of St. Patrick’s Day, and to mark the occasion, we began to wonder where the ideas of Irish luck and four-leaf clovers come from – not to mention how do we get some for ourselves?
Originally, the term “the Luck of the Irish” wasn’t actually coined in Ireland, but by Americans when the Irish emigrated to the United States.
The same Irish people who had emigrated across the Atlantic became miners, and were responsible for a lot of the day-to-day success of the gold rush of the 1800’s in America.
Because the gold rush was often the fruit of Irish labour, the Irish became known as lucky – and if you found a pot o’ gold thereafter, you were said to have “the Luck of the Irish”.
The idea of shamrocks as symbolic to Ireland came a lot earlier. Saint Patrick was said to use shamrocks to illustrate the idea of the Holy Trinity, and they were a regenerative symbol of growth. When the Irish took to the United States, they took shamrocks with them as their country’s symbol, like an English rose or a Scottish thistle.
…Which leads us to the idea of the lucky four-leaf clover. A shamrock is just a young clover, but the odds of actually finding a four-leaf clover are roughly 1 in 10,000. If you happen upon one this Saint Patrick’s Day, make sure to spread the luck!