Wednesday, 1 February 2017

St David’s Day – Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant

Wales is full of long-standing traditions, and hotels in Snowdonia are a great place to experience them.

March the 1st is a much celebrated day throughout the whole of Wales, and is known as St David’s Day (or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant). This day has been celebrated since the late middle ages, to commemorate the life of Saint David – the patron saint of Wales.

The emblem of St David.

Saint David was a Welsh bishop within Pembrokeshire (which was then known as Mynyw) during the 6th century. He became known for his teachings and his founding of Celtic monastic settlements and churches within Wales.

For someone to become a recognised saint, at least two miracles need to have been performed, and witnessed. For St David, the first miracle occurred whilst he was preaching to a crowd in Llanddewi Brefi. It was said that a small hill suddenly rose from the ground that he was standing upon.

After this, a white dove became his recognised emblem, as well as the leek. The leek is also the symbol of Wales; the origin of the leeks significance cannot be put down to a single source, due to the varying folklore tales surrounding it. On St David’s Day, it’s common for people to wear a leek or a daffodil in recognition of the day.

Welsh Emblem

Leeks are a Welsh emblem.

The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, and often begins to bloom just in time for St David’s Day.

In 2007, a petition was created to make March 1st a public holiday within Wales; however this did not come to fruition. Despite this, celebrations still take place, including parades, festivals and live performances.

A Welsh festival is typically known as an eisteddfod. An eisteddfod is a celebration of welsh literature, performances and music. On St David’s Day, children in schools around Wales take part in school concerts and eisteddfods – which typically involve singing traditional welsh songs and dressing up in Welsh clothing.

Famous Welsh singers often take part in Eisteddfods.

Will you be celebrating St David’s Day next month? A traditional dish for this day is cawl, but there are plenty more traditional welsh foods for you to try on this public Welsh holiday.