Today March 1st is St. David’s Day and is the national day celebrated in Wales.
Did you know that each country in the UK celebrates its own national day on their Patron Saints Day? Each country also has a flower as a national emblem. The Welsh national emblem is a Daffodil or Leek.
The Welsh flag is a red dragon on a white and green background. It is displayed for the festive mood.
St David plays a very important role in Welsh culture, but little is known about his life. It is believed that he lived to be 100 years old. It is thought he died on 1 March in 589. However, the first documents about his life only appeared around 500 years after he died. So it is difficult to tell which parts of the St David’s story are true and which are legend! He was supposed to have been very gentle but strong and tall, although he ate a simple diet. St David travelled around Wales, Cornwall in the south-west of England, Brittany in France and possibly to Ireland and Jerusalem. He founded several churches and a monastery in Wales. He eventually became a Saint in 1120, when March 1 was included in the church
calendar as St David’s Day.
March 1st is a day of celebration of both St David’s life and of the Welsh culture in Wales and around the world. Many people attend special church services, parades, choral recitals or Welsh literature readings. Schools plan celebrations, usually involving choirs, for St. David’s day.
Children and some adults wear traditional costume. On St David’s Day, some children in Wales dress in their national costume, which consists of a tall black hat, white frilled cap and long dress. Other people may pin a daffodil or a leek to their clothes as these are symbols of Wales.
The traditional meal on St David’s Day is cawl. This is a soup that is made of leek and lamb.