Shamrock tattoos are not only popular among the Irish, they are popular across the globe. Their most noted symbolism is that of good luck as well as being the unofficial symbol of Ireland (the official symbol is the harp). Requested by both men and women, most shamrock tattoos are small in size, usually done in green or black ink, and are commonly located on wrists, forearms, feet and ankles.
Three-Leaf Shamrock Tattoos
Shamrock tattoos feature three-leaf clovers, not four. This particular clover is thought to be the white clover, a creeping perennial vine with white and pink flowers – the original shamrock of Ireland. The three leaves have a particular meaning that is special to Irish history. The Druids believed the three leaves formed a triad, a symbol used by St. Patrick to illustrate the holy trinity: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Supporters of Notre Dame University are common shamrock tattoo seekers. The highly acclaimed Indiana school appointed a fighting leprechaun (baring a three-leaf shamrock on his hat) as its mascot in 1965. Promoting the slogan “The Fighting Irish,” supporters are always proud to display their leprechaun and shamrock tattoos.
Four-Leaf Clover Tattoos
Shamrock tattoos featuring four-leaf clovers are symbols of good luck. The four-leaf clover is considered rare and the luckiest of all clovers. In many tattoo designs, the four-leaf clover is paired with a leprechaun or pot of gold to heighten its symbolism of luck and to further enhance the overall tattoo design through both composition and color.
Celtic Shamrock Tattoos
Celtic shamrock tattoos blend Irish heritage and fine-line artistry into single tattoo designs. Usually done using black ink, these tattoos feature Celtic knot formations that are generally larger than their more realistic counterparts. The beautiful twists and curves created by these designs work well with the curves of the shamrock, resulting in an eye-appealing effect.
Interesting Facts About Shamrocks
There are some interesting facts about shamrocks that are generally lesser known than its symbolism for good fortune. For example, it is said that a shamrock’s leaves will stand upright to warn of a storm that is approaching – a trait that led the the belief that the plant has mystical powers, Another interesting fact pertains to marriage. For marital luck, the Irish commonly place clover in the bride’s bouquet as well as in the groom’s boutonniere. Lastly, the shamrock is the emblem of Aer Lingus, Ireland’s official airline. Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish National Holiday, the airline flies freshly cut shamrock to all of the Irish embassies around the globe so the Irish diplomats can continue to participate in their homeland’s tradition of “Wearing of the Green.”
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