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St. Patrick’s Day: The history behind the luck

A+four-leaf+clover+is+one+of+the+most+famous+symbols+of+luck+associated+with+St.+Patrick%27s+Day.
A four-leaf clover is one of the most famous symbols of luck associated with St. Patrick's Day.

A four-leaf clover is one of the most famous symbols of luck associated with St. Patrick's Day.

Photo from Pexels

Photo from Pexels

A four-leaf clover is one of the most famous symbols of luck associated with St. Patrick's Day.

Richard Mendiola

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We all know that a four-leaf clover is a sign of luck, but have you ever stopped to think why? From four-leaf clovers to a rabbit’s foot, here are some of the most well-known symbols of luck and how they came about.

Four-leaf clover – The four-leaf clover is the most prominent lucky item associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Believed to be a Celtic charm, four-leaf clovers were used for magical protection from evil spirits and to repel bad luck. The leaves of the clover stands for faith, hope, luck and love. Whoever comes across a four-leaf clover is granted good luck and is protected against any bad luck.

Shamrock – A shamrock (three-leaf clover) is the traditional symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day. The history behind this symbol is that St. Patrick depicted the Holy Trinity within the clover. Just like the four-leaf clover, the shamrock also grants the beholder with good luck.

Horseshoe – The horseshoe is another item that is considered lucky to possess. It is believed that the horseshoe has the power to ward off the devil, due to a 10th century legend regarding Saint Dunstan. Saint Dunstan was given a request to shoe the Devil’s horse. Instead, Dunstan nailed the horseshoe to the Devil’s foot and agreed to remove it if the Devil promised to never enter a household with a horseshoe on the door. Therefore, horseshoes have come to symbolize luck and security from evil.

Pot of gold – The luckiness behind  a pot of gold is that it is believed to grant the individual the success, fulfillment or happiness he or she desires. The belief is that leprechauns hide a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow for mortals to find. The pot of gold is considered to be lucky because gold is linked to wealth and fortune. It is also a symbol of luck due to its connection to rainbows, which are considered magical and signs of hope and prosperity.

Rabbit’s foot – A rabbit’s foot is one of the most unusual of the lucky charms. The Celts regarded the rabbit’s foot as lucky due to their general belief of rabbits being associated with luck. Because rabbits usually reside underground, they were believed to be in constant contact with gods and spirits of the underworld and are therefore considered to have a protective power.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day: The history behind the luck