Friday, 4 March 2011

St David's Day

The 1st of March marks St David's Day.  St David was the patron saint of Wales.  This date was chosen to commemorate St David because this was the day that he died.  The Welsh hold a strong favour for this day, maybe not as strong as St Patrick for Ireland but still, big celebrations are held and traditions are carried on through generations.

One of the most popular traditions is to wear a Daffodil.  A Daffodil is Wales' national flower and in Welsh it is known as 'Cenhinen Bedr' which literally translated means Peter's Leek.  This is a coincidence as the Leek is a national emblem for Wales.  It is so important that the Welsh Guards use it as their cap badge.  Some people also wear Leeks on St David's day because of it's importance.


Daffodils are also a sign of spring arriving as they only start to bloom once the weather starts to become warmer at the end of the winter months, mostly around the beginning of March.  Another reason why this is used for St David's Day as this is when they first bloom.

St David was a Welsh Bishop back in the 6th Century who founded a Celtic community in Sir Benfro, which is now coincidentally called St David.  It is here that St David's Cathedral now stands.  This community was constantly under heavy raids, including those from the Vikings.  St David was famous for being a great teacher and a highly regarded monk.  It is because of his work towards the Celtic community that made him a patron saint of Wales.

Throughout Wales parades and banquets are held all to celebrate St David's Day, in modern day many concerts are also held as people like to see this event to celebrate their country and bring their community together.

Why am I talking about St David's Day?  I myself am a quarter Welsh.  My Grandma was born in Wales and her brother still lives there.  After researching my family history I have found that my family goes back 3 generations in Wales which I know isn't much but we still feel like we are all partly Welsh.  My Great Grandma lived until she was 100 and my Grandma is currently 87.  There is a saying in Wales that everybody lives long and healthy lives because of their Welsh blood, I strongly believe this!  It is because of my family's Welsh background that I feel I must commemorate St David's Day in one way or another, even if I don't take part in any actual celebrations.

Yesterday I went out and bought myself a lovely bunch of Daffodils!  They really are brightening up my room!  They smell lovely too.  So here's to my Welsh relatives, Happy St David's Day!  (Even if I am posting this 3 days late!)

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