With March 17th just a few days away, Kane Landscapes wanted to provide you with a few interesting facts about St. Patrick’s day, and what it means apart from green beer, green clothes, and green beads. And, most importantly, what the difference is between a Shamrock and a Clover.
St. Patrick was actually born in Roman occupied Briton circa 390 AD. He was kidnapped by slavers in his teenage years and brought to Ireland to tend sheep. After 6 years of slavery, he escaped to return to his home. It was at this point that St. Patrick studied theology. He would return to Ireland as missionary at which time he would drive all the snakes out of Ireland. But, in reality, Ireland was probably already snake free. This popularized myth probably refers to the expulsion of pagan influences. Some scholars think that he expelled a snake cult called Crom Cruaich, a bloody pagan cult demanding human sacrifices to a snake deity that was particularly popular in Ireland during the time. And of course, he is most famous for using a shamrock to illustrate the hard to grasp concept of the trinity to those he was proselytizing. What you may not know, is that St. Patrick’s order used blue as their color, not green.
But as for the difference between what we call Shamrocks and what we call clovers, it might surprise you to know there is much debate on the subject. A shamrock is the common name for any number of plants that belong to the genus Trifolium, Latin for “having three leaves.” The plant that is most commonly referred to as a shamrock is actually a small, white clover and comes from the Irish word “seamrog” meaning “little clover.” The green weed that grows in your yard is actually just a plain old clover, despite the popular misconception.
So, this Saint Patty’s day, put on the traditional blue, pin on a white shamrock, and go looking for followers of Crom Cruaich to expel from the land. Happy Saint Patrcik’s Day, everybody.
Written by: Justin Hill