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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Three Symbols of St. Patrick's Day

Many times when someone thinks of Saint Patrick's day they will think of shamrocks. The "Shamrock" is the name of a three leafed clover native to Ireland. A clover or "shamrock" is thought to be lucky. The shamrock is Ireland's national emblem because of the legend of St. Patrick. St. Patrick would use the clover to teach the doctrine of the Trinity. The belief that God is three in one : Father , Son and Holy Spirit could easily be told through the shamrock. 

The character known as the leprechaun is a traditional symbol of St. Patrick's day as well. The name leprechaun comes from the Irish word "luchorpan" which means "little body". A leprechaun is an Irish fairy resembles a small, old man about 2 feet tall. He often appears dressed as a shoemaker wearing a crooked hat and a leather apron. 

Leprechauns are said to be unfriendly and often live alone. Making shoes is how they pass their time when they are not checking on their hidden pot of gold. Leprechauns guard their gold from treasure hunters who endlessly seek the pot of gold. The sound of hammering often helps give the leprechaun away. If the leprechaun is caught the seekers will threaten him with bodily violence until they find out where the gold is. The leprechaun can never be trusted even if captured. If he is not constantly watched the leprechaun can easily vanish and the treasure will be lost. 

The color green was not actually the color St. Patrick wore. He actually wore blue. It was during the 19th century that green became used as a symbol for Ireland. Ireland is blessed with plentiful rain and mist making it the 'Emerald Isle' It is green all year in Ireland and this became the inspiration for the national color. Wearing green is considered an act of paying tribute to Ireland. Green is thought to also bring good luck when wore on St. Patrick's day. Irish children began the tradition of pinching people who did not wear green on St. Patrick's day. 

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