St. David’s Day, celebrated on 1st March, is a day of national celebration in Wales, honouring the country’s patron saint, St. David. The day has been observed for centuries and its origins can be traced back to the 12th century.
St. David was a Welsh bishop who lived in the 6th century and was known for his religious teachings and many miracles from bringing a boy back to life by splashing his face with tears to restoring a blind man’s sight. He was the founder of several monasteries in Wales and played an important role in spreading Christianity throughout the country. He died on 1st March, 589 AD and was later canonised by the Catholic Church.
The earliest recorded celebrations of St. David’s Day date back to the 12th century, when Welsh soldiers in the army of King Henry II wore leeks into battle to distinguish themselves from the English soldiers. The leek became a national symbol of Wales and it is still worn by many people on St. David’s Day today.
Over time St. David’s Day has evolved into a day of national celebration and great pride in Wales. In the 18th and 19th centuries Welsh societies were established in towns and cities throughout Wales and across the world, and they would hold St. David’s Day dinners and other events to celebrate their Welsh heritage.
St. David’s Day is a day of celebration and national pride
Today St. David’s Day is celebrated in a variety of ways still and not just in Wales. Many people wear traditional Welsh clothing, including the daffodil and the leek, which are national symbols of Wales. The daffodil is thought to have become associated with Wales because it blooms around St. David’s Day and its yellow colour is reminiscent of the Welsh countryside in bloom in early spring.
Traditional Welsh foods and drinks are also an important part of the celebrations. One of the most popular dishes is cawl, a hearty soup made with meat (usually lamb or beef), vegetables, and potatoes. Welsh rarebit, a dish of melted cheese on toasted bread is also a favourite, as are Welsh cakes, a type of sweet, flat cake made with flour, butter, sugar, and currants. For drinks, many people enjoy our delicious Bara Brith Gin, distilled with the flavours of the classic Welsh fruitcake, which includes dried fruits, mixed spices, and black tea.
In addition to food and drink, music is also an important part of St. David’s Day celebrations. Traditional Welsh songs and dances are performed at concerts and other events throughout the country and many people participate in eisteddfods or competitive festivals of music, poetry, and dance.
St. David’s Day is a reminder of the strength and resilience of the Welsh people
Although there have been calls to make St. David’s Day a national holiday in Wales, it has yet to be formally recognised as one. Nonetheless, the day remains an important occasion for Welsh people to come together and celebrate their heritage and traditions. It is a day to honour St. David and everything he represented, as well as a day to celebrate all that makes Wales unique and special.
St. David’s Day is also an opportunity for Welsh people to reflect on their history and the struggles they have faced over the centuries. Wales has a rich and complex history and its people have fought for their independence and cultural identity for centuries. St. David’s Day is a reminder of the strength and resilience of the Welsh people and above all it is a day of celebration and national pride.