St Dwynwens day (Wales Valentines Day) is celebrated each 25th January in Wales (3 weeks before Valentines Day) with the giving and receiving of cards and presents by ‘loved ones’! St Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers and she is the Welsh version of St Valentine. The popularity of St Dwynwen's Day has increased massively in recent years so why wait until St Valentine's Day (14th February) to make your romantic feelings known, when you can wish your loved one 'Rwy’n dy garu di ' (I love you) three weeks earlier? You can show your proud Welsh heritage and point of difference by celebrating St Dwynwen's Day as opposed to Valentines Day!!!
So who was St Dwynwen? Well she lived during the 5th century and was, according to legend one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog's twenty four, yes 24, daughters. The story is that Dwynwen fell in love with a guy called Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had already promised that she should marry someone else. Dwynwen fell asleep and was visited by an angel who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into an ice block.
Distraught, Dwynwen fled to the woods, where she pleaded with God to make her forget Maelon. God responded to Dwynwen’s grief and then granted her three wishes. Firstly she wished that Maelon be thawed, secondly that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers and third that she should never marry. All three of her wishes were fulfilled and to give her thanks Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life. She became a nun who founded a convent on Llanddwyn off the West coast of Anglesey. In Llanddwyn a well was named after her as a place of pilgrimage. Dwynwen died in 465AD. Visitors to the well believed the sacred fish that lived in the well could predict whether or not their relationship would be happy and whether love and happiness would be theirs. It remains today for any of you Welsh lovers to visit.
The remains of Dwynwen's church are still visible today on the island of Llanddwyn. During the 14th century, whilst visiting the island, the poet Dafydd ap Gwilym saw a golden image of Dwynwen inside the church and was bold enough to ask for her help as a messenger between himself and Morfudd, the girl he hoped to win — despite the fact that Morfudd was already married! So go on, buy your loved one a truly Welsh gift to celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day