Eurospeak Language School

Symbols of the UK (Part 3)


Emerald isle is rich in folklore that creates its many symbols.


Celtic symbol for luck, it’s a three-leafed clover that grows abundantly in Ireland. It’s so important in the heart of Irish because St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, used a 3-leaf clover to explain the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity while teaching about Christianity. The shamrock is associated with Saint Patrick’s Day, which has become the Irish national holiday, and is observed with parades and celebrations worldwide. The custom of wearing shamrock on the day is still observed.



The traditional symbol of Ireland, the harp is said to reflect the immortality of the soul. The Irish loved to entertain guests with the use of a harp during the Gaelic times and it remains one of the most popular Celtic instruments today. You’ll find the harp everywhere in Ireland, from coins, uniforms and the state seal to the Guinness pint glass. It even became part of the national flag of Ireland from the 18th to the 19th centuries.



We couldn’t write about symbols of Ireland without mentioning the leprechaun. It’s a small creature obsessed with its gold. Clad in green, the leprechaun is often drawn as a bearded old man of dwarfish proportions. He has also been said to love mischief and pranks of all sorts. If you catch one, you get three wishes and a pot of gold!


Celtic cross

This symbol is a variation of the Christian cross. In the history of St. Patrick, after converting Pagans to Christianity, he wanted them to identify with the Christian cross. He chose to incorporate a Pagan symbol on the cross in order to facilitate their assimilation. Since Pagans are traditional worshipers of nature, he added a circle, representing the sun – a highly revered pagan symbol, into the cross.



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