Happy St. David’s Day! Oh, you are not familiar with it? Allow me to wax lyrical about it. St. David’s Day is the feast day of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. It falls on 1 March of each year and was chosen in remembrance of St. David. On this day, many people usually pin a daffodil or a leek to their clothes-not all people, just Welsh people. The traditional meal on this day is cawl, a soup made from leek and other locally grown produce.
St David plays a very important role in Welsh culture but little is known about his life. Kind of like I know very little about how dark chocolate is made but I eat loads of it. Anyway, it is believed that St. David lived to be 100 years old and that he died in 589-however the first texts about his life only appeared around 500 years after his death. This means that it is difficult to determine which aspects of St. David’s story are true and which are legend. They say he was very gentle and physically strong and very tall despite eating a frugal diet. His parents were Sant, the grandson of a prince of Ceredigion in south west Wales, and Non, a niece of the legendary King Arthur.
It is known that St David travelled widely throughout Wales, Cornwall in the south-west of England, Brittany in France and possibly to Ireland and Jerusalem. He also founded several churches and a monastery in Wales and eventually became an archbishop. St David was canonized in 1120 and March 1 was included in the church calendar as St David’s Day. People started making pilgrimages to St David’s monastery after he was canonized. A cathedral still stands on its original site.
The Welsh flag, which features a red dragon on a white and green background is often seen around the date of St. David’s Day. And as previously mentioned, many pin a daffodil or a leek to their clothes as a symbol of Wales.
And there you have it. Knowledge is power, people.
Pictured below is a leek. It is sort of like an onion-many people call it ‘poor man’s asparagus.’ It is delish. I never had a leek before I came to England-now I eat them every week!
Ahh where is Wales? My geography is pretty bad, I am an American after all. Yes, I said it. But I do know where Wales is, as it is one of my favourite places.
Rhuddlan Castle in North Wales
And of course, Prince Charles is known as The Prince of Wales. He speaks Welsh-well of course he does. Pictured below is his signet ring with the Prince of Wales Feathers.