St. David’s Day is celebrated annually on March 1st in Wales. It is a day to honour the patron saint of Wales, St. David, and to celebrate Welsh culture and heritage.
Whether you’re Welsh or simply interested in learning more about this vibrant culture, St. David’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate all that Wales has to offer.
Here are some interesting facts about St. David’s Day or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi as it is said in the Welsh lauguage:
- St. David is the patron saint of Wales and is also known as Dewi Sant in Welsh. He was a Welsh bishop who lived in the 6th century and is credited with spreading Christianity throughout Wales.
- St. David’s Day has been celebrated in Wales since the 12th century, although it wasn’t recognized as a national holiday until the 18th century.
- The Welsh flag, which features a red dragon on a white and green background, is often displayed on St. David’s Day along with daffodils and leeks, which are both symbols of Wales.
- Daffodils are the national flower of Wales and are closely associated with St. David’s Day. It is said that St. David himself wore a leek on his hat during battle, which is why the leek is also a symbol of Wales.
- St. David’s Day is not a public holiday in Wales. However, many Welsh communities around the world also celebrate St. David’s Day with parades, festivals, and other events.
- Traditional foods associated with St. David’s Day include Welsh cakes, bara brith (a type of fruit cake), and cawl (a hearty stew made with lamb and vegetables).
- The National Eisteddfod of Wales, a festival of Welsh music, literature, and art, is held annually in August and is considered one of the most important cultural events in Wales. St. David’s Day is often seen as a precursor to the Eisteddfod, with many Welsh people using the holiday as an opportunity to celebrate their culture and language.
- St. David’s Day is also a time to reflect on the contributions of Welsh people to the world, including famous Welsh figures like Dylan Thomas, Roald Dahl, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Gareth Bale and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Who is St. David?
St. David, also known as Dewi Sant in Welsh, was a Welsh bishop and patron saint of Wales. He was born in the 6th century and is believed to have lived from 500 to 589 AD. He was a Celtic monk, bishop and scholar who founded several monastic settlements throughout Wales.
According to legend, St. David performed several miracles during his lifetime, including bringing a child back to life and causing the ground to rise beneath him so that he could preach to a large crowd. He is also said to have prophesied the defeat of the Saxons by the Welsh at the Battle of Maes Gwenllian.
He is remembered for his contributions to Welsh Christianity and for his commitment to promoting peace and goodwill among people.
Saint David founded a monastic community near where the city of St. David’s in Pembrokeshire now stands. This community grew over time and eventually became a centre of pilgrimage and devotion, leading to the construction of the St. David’s Cathedral in the 12th century. The city that developed around the cathedral was named after Saint David, and it remains an important pilgrimage site popular tourist destination to this day.
St. David’s in the smallest city in the UK
Named after the patron saint of Wales, St. David’s is the smallest city in the UK, both in terms of size and population. It is located in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and has a population of around 1,600 people.
Despite its small size, St. David’s is a popular tourist destination due to its historic cathedral, picturesque coastal setting, and proximity to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
St. David’s has been a city since the 16th century, when it was granted city status due to the presence of its cathedral. However, its small size means that it has a very different character from larger UK cities.
Feature image by Hchc2009, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons