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Home > Article > Shamrock, Leprechaun, and Blarney's Stone
Shamrock, Leprechaun, and Blarney's Stone
The Shamrock
St. Patrick became associated with the shamrock as he used the three leaf plant to explain the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to the converts in Ireland. The association between St. Patrick and the shamrock developed during years of suppression of Irish Catholics and the confiscation of their lands.

The first mention of shamrock as a badge is stated in the 1681 diary of Thomas Dinely, who traveled throughout Ireland during King Charles II's reign. He wrote that the 17 March is St. Patrick's feast, when all the Irish wear crosses in their hats, pins, green ribbon, and the vulgar superstitiously wear shamrocks, the three leaf grass which they also eat to cause a sweet breath. Dinely associated the wearing of shamrock with the lower social classes.

In the 19th century, the shamrock became symbolic in other ways as it became a symbol of rebellion, and anyone wearing it risked death by hanging. It was this period that spawned the phrase "the wearin' o' the green".

Today, the shamrock is the most recognized symbol of the Irish and is cultivated in Ireland and exported to USA and Europe to be worn by the Irish and the honorary Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
The Leprechaun
The Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. He looks like a small, old man (60 cm tall), often dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather apron.

According to legend, leprechaun is a loner and unfriendly, live alone, and spend the time making shoes. They also own a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer.

If caught, the leprechaun can be forced to reveal where his treasure is, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun, he disappears and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.
The Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone or the Stone of Eloquence is a stone situated in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. The castle was built by Cormac Laidhiv McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) in 1446. Its walls are 5.5 meter thick.

It is said that people who kiss the stone will be blessed with the gift of eloquence (blarney). Legend has it that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.

It is hard to reach the stone since it is situated between the main castle wall and the parapet. In order to kiss the stone, people have to stretch to their back, bend backward and downward, holding iron bars for support.
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