February 25, 2020 4 min read

Celebrating St David’s Day in St David’s

 

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St David's Day Essentials

Question Answer
When is St. David's Day? 1st March each year. In 2020 it is on Sunday 1st March. 
When was St. David born? The exact date of his birth is unknown, but popular belief is that he was born around the year 500. Story has it that he was born on a Pembrokeshire cliff during a thunderstorm. His birth place is marked by the ruins of Non's chapel and a nearby holy well is said to have healing powers. 
Why does Wales celebrate St David's Day? St David was the Patron Saint of Wales who died on 1st March 589 AD. It is Wales' own day in the annual calendar. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that St David’s Day became a national day of celebration in Wales.
What do daffodils have to do with the St David's Day celebrations? In current times, traditional festivities include the wearing daffodils and leeks, recognised symbols of Wales and Saint David respectively.
What is Happy St David's Day in Welsh? Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus
What is Saint David in Welsh? Dewi Sant - the city of St David's is Ty Ddewi. 
What happens on St David's Day? In the capital city of Wales, Cardiff, a National St David's Day parade is held with lots of exciting performances by dragons and theatre groups. Nowadays St David’s Day is not just celebrated the world over.
What happens in St Davids city itself? St David’s or Ty Ddewi is the smallest city in the UK with an estimated population of 1,800. Celebrations are not done by half and not just on one day but consist of varied events, usually spread over a two-week period.

 

St David's Day is not a public holiday in Wales although there are many who are campaigning for it to be a holiday. As a result public organisations such as schools, libraries, government offices etc are all open. Almost all businesses are open although some decide to give their staff a day off for Wales' national day, St David's Day, the Patron Saint of Wales.

However, it is a day of celebration so many schools, institutions and even businesses will have a special program for the day. Some villages and towns hold special parades so there may be some local disruption to traffic or public transport.

Background

St David is the Patron Saint of Wales and on 1st March each year is the feast day of Saint David, which commemorates the anniversary of Saint David's death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century (by Pope Callixtus II), though it is not a national holiday in Wales or in the UK. The lack of a national holiday in Wales, when there are equivalents in Scotland and Ireland is a source of much disappointment despite overwhelming public support. 

Worldwide Celebrations of St David’s Day

In current times, traditional festivities include the wearing daffodils and leeks, recognised symbols of Wales and Saint David respectively and grand parades in major towns and cities in Wales. In the capital city of Wales, Cardiff, a St David's Day in the USANational St David's Day parade is held every year, with lots of exciting performances by dragons and theatre groups. Nowadays St David’s Day is not just celebrated in Wales but the world over. If you search on the internet for “St David’s Society”, you will find them worldwide. However perhaps the most poignant celebrations are in the tiny city of St David’s itself.

Whilst many people mark St David’s Day on 1 March by wearing a leek or a daffodil, it is becoming increasingly popular to fly the flag of St David (next to the famous Welsh Dragon flag), which features a yellow cross on a black background.

St Davids Flag - St David's Day - Patron Saint of Wales

Celebrating St David’s Day, in St David’s

St David’s or Ty Ddewi is the smallest city in the UK with an estimated population of 1,800. It is the home of the world famous St David's Cathedral. St David’s was granted city status as long ago as in the 16th century, but that status was lost in 1886. It wasn’t until 1994 that city status was rightfully restored to St David’s and once again became the smallest city in the UK. Here in St David’s, celebrations are not done by half and not just on one day but consist of a whole array of different and varied events, usually spread over a two-week period as opposed to one day.

The main event is of course on St David’s Day itself with formal messages being sent to the Senedd (the Welsh Parliament), the Bishops Blessing, playing of the National Anthem, full peal of bell ringing and the various cathedral services. During the two-week celebration there are many and varied events ranging from the best dressed shop window and best St David's Day Cawl competitions, to a half marathon on the Pembrokeshire coastal path. Being Wales, there’s rugby, a mini rugby competition at the rugby club and vintage motor bike parades. The full range of events are listed on the website http://stdavidsinfo.org.uk/.

St David's Day ParadesSt David’s Day celebrations take place in Wales and the world over on 1st March each year. But if you want to witness how the celebrations are organised over a two-week period, then the tiny city of St David’s itself is the place to visit.

About FelinFach

Our company, FelinFach Natural Textiles is located in the heart of the Preseli area of Pembrokeshire near to Boncath. We design Welsh blankets, Welsh woollen blankets and throws which are traditionally woven at Welsh mills. We also design and make natural hand dyed yarn, cotton, silk and wool scarves and other handmade products. We are a proud supporter of the Campaign for Wool, Global Welsh and Wales International.

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