Wales and St. David’s Celebration
In Wales, on March 1st everyone will be celebrating St. David’s Day. Writing about Wales and St. David’s Celebration is not something that I have experienced first-hand, however, after spending hours researching this holiday it is a celebration that I would like to travel and participate in the near future.
Just imagine traveling to a country and finding everyone in a festive mood. So join me for a few minutes and let’s venture to Wales via online travels and take a peek at what one would experience for the St. David’s Day celebrations. O.k. before I start sharing the info about the Welsh cakes, cawl cennin, daffodils, leeks, and the St. David’s Day Parade in Cardiff, you might be wondering just who is St. David.
Add'l Info about St. David
- Saint David, Patron Saint of Wales -by iantoPF
March the 1st is Saint Davids Day. Saint David, or Dewi as he is known in Wales, was canonized by Pope Callactus II in 1120AD...
- Saint David and Saint David's Day
Every self-respecting man, woman and child would be celebrating St. David's Day in one way or another. But who was St. David...
History of St. David
Saint David, a patron saint of Wales was known by the Welsh people, as Dewi Sant. He lived in the sixth century and during his life he was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, the archbishop of Wales, and was one of the early saints that helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain.
Everyone describes Dewi as being a gentle person that lived frugally; ate mostly bread and herbs; and was tall and physically strong. Some Welsh called him Dewi Ddyfrwr (David the Water Drinker) because water was the only thing he was ever known to drink. He was born near Capel Non on the South-West Wales coast near the present city of Saint David. Dewi was born into royal lineage; his father, Sant was the son of Ceredig, the prince of Credigion and legend has it that his mother, Non, was a niece of King Arthur.
Dewi travelled missionary journeys throughout Wales and established churches. He founded a monastery at Glyn Rhosyn (Rose Vale); it is said that he once rose a youth from death; and once while speaking the ground instantly rose underneath him to accommodate those in the crowd that could not see him. It is written that Dewi lived for over 100 years when he died in 589 a.d. on Tuesday, March 1st. Part of his last words to his followers was, ('Gwnewch y pethau bychain') which translates to “Do the little things.” Dewi was canonised by Pope Callactus the Second around 1120 and St. David’s Day has been celebrated every since.
Major Cities in Wales
As with any holiday celebration if you plan on visiting a
new country one will have to know where to stay in order to enjoy and
participate in the events. There are
five major cities in Wales: Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, Bangor, and St. David’s.
One of the main celebrations will be held in Cardiff the Capital of Wales.
Cardiff has a population of only 321,000; however it attracts more than 11
million visitors a year. Watch the video below and you will see why this city attracts so many visitors. There is literally something for everyone regardless of whether you like the indoors or outdoors; the city or the country side.
This events city offers world-class bands alongside
sporting, foods, theatre, and cultural experiences. St David’s Pembrokeshire Wales appears to be
a beautiful city surrounded by some of the finest coastline in Europe. This is
a must see place with breathtaking views. Obviously time will not permit me to
reveal all of the beauty that this country has nor can one cover all of the
sites to be seen in Wales and St. David’s
celebration. However, be sure to visit the links that I’ve provided for
more information and pictures. Now let's take a look at what to wear for the occasion.
More Touring Info...
- Wales Driving Tour - by James A Watkins
Legend has it that in 1170 B.C. (Before Christ) the Ark of the Covenant was captured by Brutus, a descendant of the Trojans, and he brought it to an uninhabited Island he named Britain, after himself. About...
- Cardiff Wales - Holiday in Cardiff - Hotels, Things to Do, Events & More
Official tourism website for Cardiff in Wales. Find information on attractions, events, accommodation, downloadable maps, how to get to Cardiff and much more!
Dress for the Occasion
In some areas, the Welsh women wear their traditional national costumes on the festival day - a tall black bonnet with a frill around the face, a frilly shawl worn over a long red dress. This link provides a picture and more background on Wales National Dress.
Traditionally, the Welsh men sport daffodils or strips of leek on their lapels or in their caps. As a matter of fact, if you catch a glimpse of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, on March 1, you'll probably see a small yellow daffodil on his lapel. Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon, is flown as a flag or worn as a pin or pendant, and leeks are worn, and sometimes eaten. Within the schools in Wales the boys take leeks to school, status being given to those who bring the biggest leeks, and eat them the earliest in the day.
Welsh Nat'l Dress
Places with Events
The celebration usually entails singing and eating, which may mean a meal followed by singing, or much singing followed by a Te Bach, tea with teisen bach and bara brith. Welsh dances will be danced, folk songs sung and poems recited; with the highlight of the day being a judging of the longest leek competition.
- Cardiff - The opening ceremony begins at 12:45 outside the National Museum of Wales in Cathays Park. The St. David's Day Parade starts promptly at 1p.m. from the museum and follows a route that passes many of Cardiff's historic sites, finishing in front of the stunning Senedd of the National Assembly for Wales. The parade gets bigger and better each year, with floats, marching bands and banners from all the Welsh counties.
- Swansea celebrates with daffodils, welsh cakes, and folk music around the Swansea Bay. The celebrations start about a week in advance at locations all over the city. Events change annually; however, you will discover a city and county which offers a banquet of choices. You can usually count on local restaurants and markets featuring traditional Welsh foods, people dressed in Welsh costumes, and Dragon parades on the day itself.
- St. Davids - In the UK, any place with a cathedral is considered a city. St. Davids, with its tiny, 12th century cathedral, is the smallest city in the UK. The cathedral is built on the spot where St. David himself founded a monastery in the 6th century. Here celebrations are more restrained, consisting of church services over several days, tea parties and receptions in the town hall.There will be a competition for the best cawl cennin Welsh soup, a flower trail and the cathedral will be decked out in daffodils and leeks. St. David’s Hall is where the St. David’s Day concert is held on the evening of March 1 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the BBC National Chorus of Wales, and several youth choruses.
- Cadw - The Welsh government organized this historic environment service to protects all of Wales' built heritage. In 2009 as a 25th year celebration it opened the doors free to all its national monuments on St. David’s Day. Whether it is free this year or not it definitely looks like a place you would love to visit. If you are visiting castles in Wales on that day, expect storytellers to crop up, relating St. David's history to one and all.
More Celebration Info
- St Davids, Wales - St Davids Travel Guide
St Davids, Wales: Illustrated travel guide to St Davids, with an emphasis on historic religious attractions. Includes St Davids photos, maps, travel information and more.
- Recipe for Cawl Cennin
Cawl Cennin (Leek Broth [sometimes also known as Leek Soup]) is a classic Cymric (Welsh) soup course, incorporating that evergreen staple of Welsh cooking, the leek.
- St. David's Day -St. David's Day Recipes
The Welsh are famous for their meats, fish and seafood, their cheeses are unique and they even produce wine at Llanerch Vineyard near Cardiff.
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In conclusion I found both the online traveling to Wales and
St. David’s celebration to be quite interesting with a
lot of things to see, good food, surrounded by cultural history, with plenty of
modern day festivities as well.There is definitely something in this country for everyone. When you have the opportunity just go to YouTube and watch the numerous videos on Wales and the Welsh people.
you love being able to enjoy castles, old churches, the countryside with farm
animals, ocean views and sea islands, in old and modern settings then it appears that one will have to
take a trip to Wales. And if you’re lucky enough to be there during the St.
David’s celebration perhaps one will get the opportunity to step back in time
and experience the way things were in the sixth century. It was my pleasure to present this online adventure to you; I hope you enjoyed the trip and remember to ('Gwnewch y pethau bychain') which in English means “Do the little things.” Comments are always welcomed...
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