Why Does a Four-leaf Clover Stand for Good Luck?
The superstition about four-leaf clovers is so old that no one is certain how or when it began. But there is an old legend that some people believe. The legend is that when Adam and Eve were sent away from Paradise, Eve took a four-leaf clover with her. Because the clover was a bit of green from the Garden of Eden, it is considered an omen of good luck if found in one’s own garden.
You are lucky if you find a four-leaf clover because most clover plants have only three leaves on each stem. Some people have been lucky enough to find five-and six-leaf clovers.
In the early days of Ireland, the Druids believed that they could see evil spirits coming when they carried a shamrock, or three-leaf clover, giving them a chance to get away in time! They thought four-leaf clovers offered magical protection, and warded off bad luck.
Later, St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, used a Shamrock – which has three leaves – to explain the Holy Trinity – one each for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Christians also viewed the four-leaf clover as lucky for its resemblance to the cross. Some even believe that the fourth leaf symbolizes the Grace of God.
The Irish often say that the green hills of the Emerald Isle (Ireland) contain more four-leaf clovers than anywhere else. Hence, the “luck o’ the Irish.”
Children in the Middle Ages believed that they could see fairies if they carried a four-leaf clover. It became a great game for them to search the garden first for a four-leaf clover, and again for fairies!
However, the Irish also believe that while finding a four-leaf clover will bring you good luck, finding a clover stem with 5 or more leaves is actually unlucky!