You’ve seen the Welsh Dragon flying high overhead. You’ve heard the Celtic songs of old in the air. You’ve tasted the lamb and leek soup and have a Welsh Oggie in hand as you’re on the way to pick up some Welsh Cakes for afternoon tea before catching the big parade. What day could it possibly be? It’s Dydd Dewi Sant of course!
St. David’s Day takes place on the 1st of March and celebrates Wales’ patron saint – Saint David. It is a time of national celebration and pride of Welsh identity.
Who is St. David?
The ancient legend of St. David is famous throughout all of Wales. However as with all ancient tales, the story has different interpretations and versions – it can be difficult to separate the man from the myth.
Saint Non is said to be the mother of David. She was impregnated by a local king of Ceregedon. One day a preacher was unable to preach in her presence, because of her pregnancy, it was then foretold that the child would grow to be a great preacher.
When news spread of the power of this boy, a local lord ordered him to be killed, however, a fierce storm made travel outside impossible and so David was safe, being born in a pool of light where St. Non lay, gripping a stone so hard that it was split, and this legendary stone is now held in the foundations of the altar of the church of Capel Non.
It is said that one day St. David was giving a speech to many scores of people, and there were so many people that they couldn’t see the preacher. So, St. David performed the miracle of raising the ground on which he was stood and so raised up high enough, so all the gathering could see him. A white dove then landed on David’s shoulder, and all there could see that he was a blessed soul. This spot is said to be where the village of Llandewi Brefi stands now.
St. David the man was said to be a kind and pious Welsh man which established a strong Christian parish in South Wales, known as St. Davids. Here he taught his followers to refrain from eating meat and drinking beer, helping others to live a simple and pious life.
Every Year on St. David’s Day, or Dydd Dewi Sant, the Welsh people celebrate the Welsh St in proper fashion with a big parade. Caernarfon has an annual parade which features many people, including local school children. There’s also a leek eating competition which takes place in Caernarfon Castle. You can see many people wearing a daffodil pinned to their jacket as a sign of respect to Wales and to St. David on this special day.