St. David’s Day 27 February 2010Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Great Britain, Symbols, UK.
Tags: customs, Great Britain, patrons, Symbols, UK, Wales, your turn
DID YOU KNOW?
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. It 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 (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:
- The Pembrokeshire Banner – which has some beautiful photographs of not only the banner but also Saint David’s Cathedral, where Saint David’s bones are kept.
- Some Welsh Phrases – a short list of some Welsh phrases.
- Say Something in Welsh – a great website for those who are interested in the Welsh language.
Saint David’s Day Anthem
CENWCH Y CLYCHAU I DEWI
(Ring out the bells for Saint David)
ABOUT SAINT DAVID IN A NUTSHELL
WELSH ANTHEM “LAND OF MY FATHERS”
THE BEAUTY OF WALES
Answer 6 questions to check what you know about St. David’s Day:
QUIZ ON 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.
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