Happy St David’s Day! Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!
Today is March 1, which means that it is St David’s Day, which celebrates the patron saint of Wales. Typical celebrations that occur on or around St David’s Day include children and adults dressing in traditional Welsh costume, leeks and daffodils being turned into accessories, parades, choirs, and plenty of hearty cawl and welshcakes to eat.
But why do we celebrate St David’s Day in Wales? Here’s 10 facts about the day and how it’s celebrated.
1. St David, or Dewi Sant as he’s known in Welsh, is the patron saint of Wales who was born in Pembrokeshire around 500 AD
2. According to legend, David was known for performing miracles
These include making the earth rise beneath him so that his sermon could be heard better by his audience, and restoring St Paulinus’ sight.
3. It was said that he founded a monastery close to his birthplace where he lived a simple life
He became known as Dewi Dyfrwr (David the water drinker) as he only drank water and ate bread.
4. He is thought to have died on March 1, 589
Supposedly, his last words were “Lords, brothers and sisters, Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed, and do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. And as for me, I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.”
5. David’s remains were buried in St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire
He was first recognised as the patron saint of Wales in the 12th century, by which more than 60 churches in Wales had been dedicated to him.
6. Leeks and daffodils are recognised as St David’s Day symbols, with children and adults attaching them (real, felt or plastic ones) as badges onto their costume or clothing
The leek, in particular, has a strong significance as David advised soldiers to wear leeks in their hats during a battle against the Saxons.
7. As for the costume itself, there’s a specific traditional costume for boys and girls
Traditionally, boys wear a shirt, black trousers, waistcoat, bow tie and a flat cap, complete with a leek. Over the years, it has also become acceptable for boys to wear rugby shirts. A girl’s costume is made up of a check coat and underskirt, an apron, shawl, and a welsh hat or bonnet, finished off with a daffodil.
8. A traditional favourite to eat on St David’s Day is cawl
Whilst it can include either beef or lamb, cawl is a type of soup/broth predominately made up of leek, potato, carrots, and swede. It is served with bread and cheese. For pudding, there’s welshcakes, which are flat little cakes including sultanas or currants which are baked on a griddle.
9. One of the largest St David’s Day celebrations is held in Cardiff
They hold an annual parade, which will start from the City Hall today at 12:30pm. The parade welcomes everyone who lives in Wales to celebrate the country’s heritage and culture.
10. The celebrations aren’t bound to Wales either
This year marks the 10th anniversary of St David’s celebrations which take place at none other than Disneyland Paris! For three days, Mickey and Minnie get into the spirit of the celebrations in their Welsh costumes. There’s also Welsh food, drink and goods for sale throughout the park!
Whilst St David’s Day isn’t recognised as an official bank holiday, it is a day in which every Welsh person or anybody living in Wales can celebrate their pride. Here at Fuzzable, we wish you a wonderful St David’s Day. Dymuna Fuzzable Dydd Gwyl Dewi hyfryd i chi gyd!
Let us know how you’ll be celebrating St David’s Day on Twitter @Fuzzable