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St. David’s Day 27 February 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Great Britain, Symbols, UK.
Tags: , , , , , ,


Saint David’s Day
Saint David is the patron saint of Wales and each year the Welsh celebrate their national day on 1 March. The date was chosen to commemorate the death of Saint David on that day around 589. daffodil and leekIt has been celebrated as a national day within Wales since the 18th century.

On this day, many Welsh people wear one or both of the national emblems of Wales to celebrate St. David: the daffodil or the leek. Children take part in eisteddfodau (school concerts) during which they recite and sing.

In many towns, on St. David’s Day a parade through the centre of town is held and in pubs or clubs concerts are played. The 2010 St David’s Day celebrations in Cardiff will include concerts, a parade and a food festival.

The flag of Saint David (a gold cross on a black field) is often a very important part of the celebrations throughout Wales. The traditional food prepared and consumed on St. David’s Day is cawl. It is a kind of stew consisting of meat and vegetables. It usually includes Welsh lamb and leeks.

Saint David
Saint David (or Dewi Sant) was born towards the end of the fifth century. In the Celtic world he was famous as a teacher and ascetic. There are many traditions and legends associated with him. For example, when he rose to speak at a synod at the village of Llanddewi Brefi, the ground under his feet rose and from that little hill he could be heard by the whole great crowd. Also, it is said that a golden-beaked dove landed on his shoulder which was considered a symbol of his holiness.

The date of Saint David’s death is recorded as March 1st, but the year is uncertain – possibly 588. He became a symbol of the independence of Wales and has been the patron saint of this country since the 12th century. Nowadays, there are over fifty churches dedicated to St. David in south Wales.

Saint David’s Day Anthem
Saint David’s Day also has its own anthem apart from Welsh National Anthem ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’ (Land of my Fathers).

This song has now been sung on five consecutive annual National Saint David’s Day Parades in Cardiff since 2006 and Gwenno Dafydd is the person who came up with the idea and who wrote the words in both English and Welsh. The music was written by Heulwen Thomas.

The song was launched in the National Assembly of Wales (i.e. Welsh Parliament) by the Presiding Officer, Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas in the year 2008.

If you also Google Pembrokeshire Banner you will also find some very interesting information about how the words and images of the song: ‘Cenwch y Clychau i Dewi’ (Ring out the bells for Saint David) were used as the basis for this beautiful banner which now is permanently housed in the East Cloister of Saint David’s Cathedral, North Pembrokeshire, very close to where the bones of Saint David himself are kept.

THINK ENGLISH recommends the following websites:

Saint David’s Day Anthem
(Ring out the bells for Saint David)




Your Turn!

Answer 6 questions to check what you know about St. David’s Day:

There are plenty of beautiful sights and places in Wales, but do you know any famous Welsh people? Search the Internet, find some of them and share their names here along with short notes about them and/or their achievements e.g. in literature, music, film, art, sports, science, politics, history, etc.

Do you know what Wales is famous for? Label the pictures with the appropriate names and then add some information about these symbols:

The River Taff, Dragon, Love Spoons, Coal, Harp, Welsh Feathers, Druids, Plaid, Welsh National Costume, Sheep

2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10.

Post your comment HERE

Cael Hwyl!
(Have Fun!)



1. Ryszard Oślizło - 28 February 2010

Did you know that Henry VII (King of England, Henry VIII’s father and the first monarch of the Tudor dynasty) was Welsh? He was born at Pembroke Castle in 1457.


2. Bart_Simpson - 1 March 2010

A famous Welsh singer? Of course Tom Jones. He is known for Sex Bomb, or She’ s lady hits.
Anthony Hopkins is from Wales. He was born in Port Talbot. He played as Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal’ s trilogy.
The most famous Welsh football player is Ryan Giggs. He played in Manchester United.


3. Bart_Simpson - 1 March 2010

1. Dragon- red dragon is a national symbol of Wales. It is beautiful and powerful.
2. Harp- a harp has got 47 cords. I know that from Polish version who wants to be a millionare.
3. Sheep- a sheep is a Christians symbol
4. Welsh feathers- The Prince of Wales’s feathers is the heraldic badge of the Prince of Wales. It consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet.
5. Love spoons- The love spoon was given to a young woman by her suitor. It was important for the girl’s father to see that the young man was capable of providing for the family and woodworking.
6. The river taff- s a large river in Wales. The river supports a number of migratory fish, including salmon, sea trout, and eel.
7. Daffodil- The name Daffodil is derived from an earlier “Affodell”, a variant of Asphodel. The reason for the introduction of the initial “d” is not known, although a probable source is an etymological merging from the Dutch article “de,” as in “De affodil.”
8. Druids- A druid was a member of the priestly and learned class active in Gaul, and perhaps in Celtic culture more generally, during the final centuries BCE. They were suppressed by the Roman government from the 1st century CE and disappeared from the written record by the 2nd century, although there may have been later survivals in Britain and Ireland.
9. Welsh national costume- The Costume worn by rural women in Wales was identified as being different to that worn by the rural women of England by many of the English visitors who toured Wales during the late 18th and early 19th centuries
10. Coal is a readily combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock normally occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds.


Ryszard Oślizło - 2 March 2010

The symbol in picture 7 is not a daffodil, even though it’s yellow. In fact, it is a logo and it shows a yellow Welsh poppy. Try to find out what organization the logo is used by.

Well done!


4. Natalia K - 2 March 2010

1.Dragon is on the Welsh flag.
3.Sheep . The Welsh sheep is 50% in the world sheep.
4.Welsh Feathers
5.Love Spoons
6.The River Taff
7,Plaid it is variety material.
8,Welsh National Costume make of plaid.


Natalia K - 2 March 2010

Famous Welsh people .
A Welsh singer Tom Jones who sings a song ” She’s A Lady” and “Sex Bomb” .
Dylan Thomas from Swansea in Wales.
Gaynor Hopkins or Bonnie Tyler is a Welsh singer. She sings a song “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”. The famous actor whom we see in “The Lord of the Rings” – John Rhys-Davies.


Ryszard Oślizło - 2 March 2010

Actually, Welsh sheep make up 15% of the sheep in Europe 🙂

As for number 7, it’s true that plaid is a kind of cloth (having a crisscross design), but the symbol in picture 7 refers to something quite different so try again with this one!

BTW: Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer (but he wrote only in English).

Thanks for taking part!


5. Bart_Simpson - 2 March 2010

A yellow Welsh poppy is a logo of Plaid Cymru. It is a political party in Wales. Since 24th Febraury 2006 a Welsh poppy is an offical logo of Plaid Cymru


Ryszard Oślizło - 2 March 2010

That’s right! Good job!


6. justyna s - 2 March 2010

Catherine Zeta-Jones is a famous Welsh actress.She was born in Swansea,South Wales. Best known for :”The Mask of Zorro”,”The Legend of Zorro” , “Ocean’s Twelve” etc.


Ryszard Oślizło - 2 March 2010

And she was absolutely incredible in Chicago! For that role she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.


7. justyna s - 2 March 2010

1.Dragon- red creature visable on the Welsh flag and one of the most recognizable symbols of Wales.
2.Harp- national instrument of Wales
3.Sheep-the vast population of sheep can be found in Wales.
4.Welsh Feathers
5.Love spoons
6.The River Taff- the largest Welsh river
7.Plaid -symbol which is wearing by people on 1st March
9.Welsh National Costume


Ryszard Oślizło - 2 March 2010

As for number 7, check what Bart_Simpson wrote here: What is Plaid?


8. Gwenno Dafydd - 12 March 2010

Thank you for taking an interest in Wales and all things Welsh. If you Google Saint David’s Day Anthem you will find that this blog is in Number One position.

If you look at what is at position 2,3,4 and 5, you will find that Saint David’s Day also has its own anthem apart from our National Anthem ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’ (Land of my Fathers) .

You may want to update your own blog with this information so that you have the most up to date information.

If you want any more information I would be very happy to help you. I would be very grateful if you could put this information in your blog.

Best wishes
Gwenno Dafydd


Ryszard Oślizło - 14 March 2010

Thank you very much for your informative comment and help. The post about St. David’s Day is now updated and I am sure that all our readers will be happy to hear you sing the Saint David’ Day beautiful anthem as much as I am.
Dymuniadau gorau!


Gwenno Dafydd - 14 March 2010

Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Thanks and best wishes. It would be very good if you could put the information about the Pembrokeshire Banner website up as it has some beautiful photographs of not only the banner but also Saint David’s Cathedral, where Saint David’s bones are also kept.

Thank you so much for taking an interest in Wales and our traditions both old and new!

Cofion gore

By the way, if any of your students are interested in the Welsh language, they could go to http://www.saysomethinginwelsh.com


Ryszard Oślizło - 15 March 2010

Once again: diolch yn fawr iawn for your help!


9. Gwenno Dafydd - 15 March 2010

Hi Ryszard,

Thank you for all the work you have done to bring Wales to the attention of your students. I really like the second website (some Welsh phrases) you have put up there.

Diolch yn fawr iawn
Cofion gore


10. Bart_Simpson - 20 March 2010

Hello Gwenno
I’m very interested in Wales and I like sport, so I have a question: who is the most popular sportsman or sportswoman in Wales? And the second question: what is the most popular traditional Welsh meal?
Best wishes,


11. Gwenno Dafydd - 21 March 2010

Dear Bart,
It’s difficult to say who that would be – my favourite Welsh sportsperson is Dame Tanni Grey Thompson – who has won eleven medals in the Olympics as a paralympian. I also love Colin Jackson who although he longer runs, brought a lot of honour world-wide to Wales in the hurdles event.

Yesterday Wales played rugby againt Italy and the man of the match was Steven Jones (I believe) so he is also very popular.

As in all countries by now you will find that pople eat meals from many other countreis and you will find it is the same here.

We eat a lot of pasta and sometimes curreis but the meal I make mostly which is truly traditionally Welsh is ‘lobsgows’ which is a soup with large pieces of meat, potatoes, carrots and parsnips. We eat it with fresh bread and lumps of cheese!!! Lovely, especially in the winter.
Many tradtions have been lost unfortunatley and that includes ones to do with traditional meals. many pople eat a lot of lamb – which is beautiful and we eat it with a nice mint sauce, new potatoes and garden peas. I hope this helps.


12. Bart_Simpson - 23 March 2010

Yes. Thanks a lot for answer 🙂


13. Gwenno Dafydd - 23 March 2010

Out schools will be closing before long and I will be going to spend Easter closer to my parents in North Pembrokeshire. Happy Easter to you all – Pasg Hapus


Ryszard Oślizło - 23 March 2010

Have a wonderful family time and Happy Easter to you and all your nearest and dearest!
Wesołych Świąt!


14. download avatars - 3 April 2010

Good article. thank you


15. Gwenno Dafydd - 27 December 2013

Here are some children in Patagonia, South America singing the Saint David’s Day Anthem in their Saint David’s Day Celebrations, March 1st 2013. Patagonia is the only other place in the entire world where people speak Welsh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL-ZQNVj79w&feature=c4-overview&list=UUEHkfskFJFyZMUjk0WEDNpA


16. Gwenno Dafydd - 27 December 2013

Here is the Saint David’s Day Anthem being sung in Saint David’s Cathedral in North Pembrokeshire, West Wales in both Welsh and English in the Annual March 1st Saint David’s Day Service. 2013. In the background you can see the beautiful Pembrokeshire Banner, the first of the County Banner’s.


17. Marco Bitran - 2 March 2015

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I require a specialist in this space to solve my problem.
Maybe that’s you! Taking a look ahead to look you.


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