Tuesday, 1 March 2011

St David's day

Happy St David's Day
Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus i bawb.
"gwisg cenhinen yn dy gap a gwisg hi yn dy galon"

Like most translations, this doesn't sound quite so poetic and pretty in English...but it roughly means,
 "wear a leek in your cap, and also in your heart"

 Let me explain...
March 1st is the day that the Welsh celebrate being Welsh.
Dewi Sant (St David) is the patron Saint of Wales
and it is believed that he was a monk who died on March 1st around the year 590. 
March 1st is therefore St David's day!

I might be thousands of kilometres from Wales, but we still uphold the traditions in this house. Hence, the leek on the school hat this morning! It comes out of it's safe hiding place each year and Sibs proudly tells anyone who asks why she wears it. It's a tradition for Welsh soldiers to wear (and eat) leeks on St David's Day. It's a real symbol of being Welsh!

Photo Credits: http://www.chls11113.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/keith/kp15.jpg

I have so many childhood memories of St David's day.... School children would dress up in traditional Welsh costume - flannel skirt, shawl, black felt hat and the girls would wear a daffodil on their shawls and the boys (who didn't have half as much fun dressing up) would wear a leek....a real one!
I still have an old school photo of me in full regalia...I wonder if the children still dress up?

 So today in our house, we spoke a bit more Welsh than usual, Sibs learnt a bit more about her history, and we ate the obligatory picae ar y maen (welshcakes).

Tomorrow I'll share with you some of the culinary traditions associated with St David's day, including how we have adapted our cooking methods for welshcakes....

3 Comments and thoughts:

  1. Have a happy St Davids Day! Lx

  2. Hope you had a lovely St David's day!
    My husband and I got married on St David's day. My dad's name was David, and his dad was Welsh. With a maiden name of Jones and a first name of Bronwen (which I always have to explain is the proper spelling, not the Bronwyn spelling Aussies insist on!) - it seemed right that St David's Day be our wedding day. I even managed to get some nice fake daffodils to pop into my bouquet of hydrangeas :) B.xx

  3. Just lovely, Beth. I really enjoyed visiting St David's Cathedral over there years ago. J x