Saturday 17th March is St Patrick’s Day in Eire (Ireland).
St Patrick is credited with converting the Irish back to Christianity which had been abandoned under Roman rule.
Saint Patrick is said to have used the Shamrock (three leaved clover) as a metaphor for the Christian Trinity. According to Wikipedia, the name shamrock comes from the Irish word seamróg, which is derived from the Irish word for clover (seamair) and means simply "little clover" or "young clover".
The Irish Shamrock downloadable image (see left) by Diane Pagan is from her theimaginationbox.com website, where you will find many other creative projects to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
Saturday 17th March was also Liberalia, this was the Ancient Roman Festival to celebrate the male coming of age! In view of the statement above that Christianity which had been abandoned under Roman rule, I wonder if there is a connection that when Eire re-converted to Christianity they chose the day of the male coming of age as their date of celebration ...
Liberalia was the Roman Feast of Liber Pater (God of wine and fertility, especially seeds) and his consort Libera, and was held three days after the Ides of March (15th). The day was celebrated with ribald songs, processions of priests and elder priestesses - adorned with Ivy - and sacrifices, with masks being hung on trees.
Young Roman boys were given a lucky charm by their parents called a bulla praetexta, generally made of gold or leather, which was hung around their necks to ward off evil spirits.
When boys reached puberty (usually aged 14-16) this amulet would be removed and often placed on an altar dedicated to the Lares (Deities protecting the household and family, image right shows a statue of one of the Lares holdng a cornucopia), together with either a lock of the boy's hair or stubble from his first shave. Subsequently mothers' would retrieve them and keep them safe out of superstition, and they would be used for protection if the son was ever in public office or in a role involving any danger.
Later in the ceremony the rites of passsage would continue with the fathers' taking their sons to the Forum to be presented as adult citizens, now with full adult rites including eligibilty to vote (if he met the statutory requirements of the time) and the authority to wear the pure white adult toga, as well as to marry. See Romeacrosseurope.com for more information.