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Wales and St. David’s Celebration

Updated on February 27, 2010

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.

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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.

Places with Events

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle
St. David Pembrokeshire
St. David Pembrokeshire
St. David's Parade
St. David's Parade

Let’s Celebrate

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.

Ending note

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.

If 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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    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi MG, have you checked out my hubs on Wales? Loved the Cardiff video. I was born there. I read this hub often.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      It is a beautiful country and I hope to be able to visit there one day soon. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on Wales and St David's Celebration... :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Thanks for this wonderful hub on my beautiful home country!

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Wow that must be awesome to find out that your ancestors are from Wales! The research that I've done on this country looks like it would be a wonderful place to visit. The vids that are on YouTube really reveals just how diverse the culture is with its, rolling countrysides, castles, and then modern day shops and nightlife. Thanks for stopping by for a read. :)

    • bat115 profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I recently learned my ancestors come from Wales. Very informative hub on what sounds like a good traditional celebration.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Maita, I really appreciate you stopping by for a read. I glad that my research offers a little insight into something new. :)

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      9 years ago from US

      Hi Money, this is great-well researched hub. It is always fun learning reading your hub, Maita

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      @anginwu - I was surprised about the leeks as well. I found the history of wearing them and the boys seeing who could eat them the earliest in the morning very interesting. Who would have known that leeks would be a food that both the Welsh and Asians incorporate into their diets.:)

      @Bard of Ely - Thanks for such a kind comment.:) I really enjoyed touring your country online and I guess I tried to find out as much as I could for when I come to visit. It is on my list of places to travel just as soon as I can....

      Thanks to you both for stopping by for the read :)

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      9 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      What an amazing and well researched hub! You put my own on St David's day to shame!

    • anglnwu profile image


      9 years ago

      I've learned quite a bit just from reading your hub. St. David's celebration sounds really intersting. How about them leeks? I always thought that leek is an Asian vegetable--guess I was wrong! Thanks for sharing.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Wooo hooo! It does look like I'm doing something right, thanks to your assistance and kind words. You have a great weekend as well my friend! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Really high score again and Money Glitch is always a featured Hub these days, plus this hub is already number 3 in Google. You are deff doing great and yer hubs are always perfection, enjoy yer weekend my friend !

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Thanks TnFlash, Dfelker, and Flightkeeper for stopping by for a read. I appreciate your opinions and comments about the hub. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

    • Flightkeeper profile image


      9 years ago from The East Coast

      Very thorough coverage of St. David's Day. Thank you!

    • dfelker profile image


      9 years ago

      Just really well done, I enjoyed reading your hub, very educational.

    • TnFlash profile image


      9 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Great Hub! Like you, I had to do a lot of research for my article this week. But I enjoyed it and learned along the way. This is well written and definitely a labor of love.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      @James - It really means a lot to hear from individuals that have experienced this country and or celebration first hand. It was my honor to reference your hub with its great info and beautiful pictures. Thanks so much James for stopping by to read this hub. :)

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      @WriteAngled - I have so enjoyed learning about Wales and St.David this week. How awesome it must have been to have experienced being in the midst of all the festivities. Needless to say, WriteAngled, I fell in love with what I've seen of your country and have added it to my wish list of traveling.:)

      @Ethel - Awe thanks for the kind words Ethel, I was really trying to do this celebration justice by getting the information accurate. I appreciate you letting me know I did well. Thanks to you both for stopping by and commenting. :)

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Wow! This is a great article! I very much enjoyed reading about St. David. Thank you for the link to my Hub as well.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      You have assessed the celebrations well

    • WriteAngled profile image


      9 years ago from Abertawe, Cymru

      I was one of the flag bearers in the Cardiff parade last year. Didn't get to do this due to any merit, they simply asked for volunteers. It was a terrific occasion! I loved the crazy mix of music on the parade: military bands, samba schools, and marvellous music and dance from visiting Breton groups. After the parade, people could look round the Senedd and there was more music and dance going on in the atrium there.


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