The Patron Saint of Wales, Saint David, is celebrated every year on 1st March.
Who is Saint David?
Saint David, also known as Dewi Sant in Welsh, was a bishop during the 6th century in a town in West Wales, now called St Davids.
It is believed that David performed a number of miracles during his life, one of which is very famous and happened during a ceremony to decide if David would become archbishop. David stood to speak, but as such as a large crowd had gathered, most people could not see or hear him.
Then, the ground beneath David rose up leaving him standing on the top of a hill where David could now be seen and heard. A white dove, which is a symbol of the holy spirit, sat on David’s shoulder throughout his sermon. A church called Saint Davids now stands on the place where this took place.
David was canonised by Pope Callixtus in the 12th century, making him a Saint. We have celebrated St David’s Day ever since! Saint David is the only patron saint in the United Kingdom who comes from the country that they represent.
Celebrating Saint David’s Day
People around Wales celebrate Saint David on 1st March which marks the anniversary of his death in 589.
In Cardiff city centre, there is the National St. David’s Day Parade which you are welcome to watch in-person and join. There are also smaller festivals and marches held all across Wales. Schools celebrate by holding festivals of traditional Welsh songs, poetry, games and competitions. There is also a famous concert held in St David’s Hall in Cardiff, with the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales performing Welsh songs.
To celebrate Saint David, people wear either a daffodil, the national flower of wales, or a leek. The symbol of the leek comes from a story where Welsh warriors were able to identify each other on the battlefield by wearing a leek on their clothes.
People wish each other a Happy St. David’s Day. In Welsh, you can say Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus (dee-the goil De-wi ha-peece).
Many people make traditional Welsh food like cawl, rarebit and Welsh cakes to enjoy with their friends and family. Others create Welsh-themed crafts featuring daffodils and the Welsh dragon, like this one:
Check out more info about St David’s church.
Saint David is famously known for saying “Gwenwch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd” which in English means “Do the little things in life”.