The first day of March marks the celebration of the patron saint of Wales – so here’s everything you need to know about St. David’s Day
Although it is not a national holiday in Wales, or the UK, patriots up and down the country will be out in force flying their flags, joining in local parades, eating plenty of Welsh cakes and singing Welsh songs to mark the event.
When is St David’s day and how is it celebrated?
St David’s Day falls every year on March 1st and marks the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD.
Whilst a nation parade is held in Cardiff many Welsh will be cooking up a feast of leek dishes accompanied by lamb, mutton and Welsh cake.
Leek is the national flower of Wales and legend states the Welsh put leeks in their helmets at David’s suggestion when they fought the Saxon invaders, and subsequently won the battle.
In 2007, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, rejected calls for the celebration to become a public holiday, despite a poll revealing that 87% of Welsh people were in favour.
Who was St. David?
While the actual date of his birth is unknown it is suggested St. David was born 15 centuries ago on the Pembrokeshire cliffs during a ‘fierce storm’.
Legend has it that St David was born on the Pembrokeshire cliffs during a wild thunderstorm and he was the son of Sant (aka Sanctus), king of Ceredigion, and a nun named Nonnita (Non).
He built a cathedral in St David’s, Dyfed (known today as Pembrokshire), which is now the smallest city in the UK, with a population of fewer than 2,000.
He was made an archbishop later in life and died on March 1, 589 AD when he was 100 years old.
It wasn’t until the 18th century that St. David’s Day was declared a national day of celebration.
How do you say Happy St. David’s Day in Welsh?
“Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus” in phonetically pronounced ‘deethe goil Dewi hapeece’