In 2023 St. David's Day is Wednesday 1st March. St David, or Dewi Sant in Welsh, is the Patron Saint of Wales. From the 18th century onwards, St David’s Day, 1st March became a National Day of Celebration in Wales. St David has a Cathedral and a city named after him and it is the smallest city in Britain with an estimated population of 1600. St Davids City is in Pembrokeshire on the western tip of Wales.
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.
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 National St David's Day parade is held every year.
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 David’s or Ty Ddewi is the smallest city in the UK with an estimated population of 1,600. 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. On St David’s Day 2023, celebrations will not be 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.
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.
On St David’s Day 2023, 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.
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Last update 1st January 2023