This Sunday (1st March) is St. David’s Day.
The Welsh are very proud of their heritage. St. David’s Day is a major event across the region. In Cardiff a large parade is held every year.
For the first time this year Swansea Council will be hosting St. David’s Week Festival with a range of musical, sporting and cultural events.
A little history on St. David…
Born in the 15th century he was later educated at Henfynyw (Old Menevia) in Ceredigion.
He founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosin (The Vale of Roses) where St. David’s cathedral now stands. The site is possibly an early religious community and has associations with St. Patrick who is thought to have spent time there before heading back to Ireland from Porth Mawr to convert the Irish to Christianity.
The exact year of his death is not known but the date of 1st March was chosen to commemorate his death and celebrate the patron saint.
St David is possibly the only patron saint of the four chief nations of the British Isles to have been born in the land which adopted him.
For years children were given a half day off from school on St. David’s Day. This custom no longer officially continues but it depends on the school.
Young girls often wear traditional Welsh costumes on St. David’s Day. The costume consists of a long woollen skirt, white blouse, woollen shawl and a Welsh hat. A Welsh hat is a tall stovepipe-style hat, similar to a top hat.
The national emblems of Wales are the Daffodil and the Leek. The association between leeks and daffodils is strengthened by the fact that they have similar names in Welsh, Cenin (leek) and Cenin Bedr (daffodil, literally “Peter’s leek”).
The flag of Saint David often plays a central role in the celebrations, and can be seen flying throughout Wales.