Dydd Gyl Dewi Hapus!
Happy St David’s Day! But who actually was St David? Read on and you’ll discover all about his extraordinary life.
St David (Dewi Sant) was born around 500AD in Caeerfai, Pembrokeshire. His father Sant was at the time, a Prince of Cardigan and his mother St Non was the daughter of a chieftain. Legend has it that David was conceived on a rock, next to the sea and that as he was born, a bolt of lightning from heaven struck the rock and split it in two. Growing up, he was educated in Cardiganshire at Hen Fynyw a local monastery, by Saint Paulinus a blind monk, who David later miraculously healed.
During his life, St David travelled to 12 pilgrimages and founded religious centres across Wales and England, including one at Glastonbury! A man of many miracles, his most famous was when he was preaching to a large crowd at the Synod of Brefi. In order for everyone to see and hear his work, he apparently raised the ground beneath him into a hill, causing loud gasps among those lucky to have witnessed this amazing event. A dove also flew onto David’s shoulder as he performed this miracle, the symbol of many paintings depicted of him before and after his death.
St David is thought to have died on March 1st 589AD. His remains are buried in St David’s Cathedral.
So how do Welsh people celebrate their patron saint’s life? Towns like Aberystwyth, Llandudno and Wrexham hold show stopping parades through their streets, whereas the capital city of Cardiff captures the heritage of the country’s flag with fiery performances from red dragons, before the crowd proudly sing their national anthem Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau outside St David’s Hall. It is also a common occurrence to see Welsh singing sensations Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey amongst the thousands of people. Traditional food like Te Bach (tea with fruit bread Bara Brith) and Teisen Bach (Welsh cakes) are also served up and eaten throughout the day.
At schools, children wear traditional 18th and 19th century Welsh clothes and sing folk songs. The boys tend to dress themselves in a white shirt, a Welsh flannel waistcoat, black trousers, long wool socks and black shoes, whereas girls wear a petticoat and overcoat, also made of Welsh flannel, with a tall hat worn over a frilly bonnet.
Finally, as to why leeks and daffodils are the national symbols of Wales. Well, according to rumour, during a battle with the Saxons, St David advised soldiers to wear leeks on their hats to avoid friendly fire. They are now seen as a representation of national pride as well as a key ingredient in the favoured soup, also known as Cawl, for this momentous day. Daffodils however were not seen as a symbol until the 19th century, but are now seen as a traditional Welsh flower that brings about the change of season and hopefully the warmer weather.
Why not come over to Carden Park today to enjoy an afternoon tea and see our blooming buds? To book your afternoon tea, call 01829 731007
Cymru am Byth!