Happy St. Patrick’s Day as seen in Belleville, NJ

My current hometown of Belleville, NJ seems to be the capital of holiday inflatables … and no holiday passes without something inflated in the front yard. St. Patrick’s Day is no exception, as one can see by the large 6 foot+ “Happy Go Lucky” inflatable dog with a shamrock for a head, as seen below left. But I thought 4 leaf clovers were good luck? This prompted me to look and realize that there’s a difference between a shamrock and a clover: a clover must have three leaves to be considered a shamrock. If the clover has more or less, then it is not a shamrock. Hence, all shamrocks are clovers, but not all clovers are shamrocks. Got that?

But if a 4 leaf clover is good luck, then why is the shamrock a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day? Saint Patrick deemed the three leaves of the shamrock to represent the holy trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. As such, in Irish culture, the shamrock connotes association to both Saint Patrick and the Holy Trinity.

At any rate, I saw the inflatable on a walk around my neighborhood, along with this randomly tossed-out-by-the-curb welcome mat, which reads “I’m lucky and I gnome it,” with a little leprechaun and his pot of gold. I’m trying to imagine the thought process of this homeowner: “hey, it’s St. Patty’s Day, so let’s toss that leprechaun welcome mat out at the end of our sidewalk to greet our visitors today!” Is that it? Hmmm … people are funny.

St. Patricks Day 2022 in Belleville
Inflatables and leprechaun welcome mats in Belleville, NJ
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