The Origins and Traditions of St David's Day...March 01st, A Welsh Celebration.

Songbird BStarred Page By Songbird B, 1st Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3whsl7lv/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>Holidays & Celebrations

St David's Day every March 01st, stirs the heart of every Welshman , woman and child, however far away they may be from home.. There is a pride and sense of community within the Welsh Valleys that flows through the blood uniting each and every soul to the beloved country of their birth, but how and when did it all begin...?

Wales..Land of Green Valleys and Song..

I always recall visiting Wales one year with my husband, and standing overlooking a small inlet cove watching the tide coming back in, I looked about me and realised that I had finally come home.
Nothing unusual in that I hear you say, but there was I born and bred in London and proud of it, with only my father's dim distant roots in Wales to connect me to any welsh ancestry..but there it was, tugging at me..My heart might belong to London, but my soul was part of Wales.

Wales is a beautiful country..True, it can be also rather wet at times, but how else could they lay claim to the stunning verdant green welsh valleys that spread endlessly for the eyes to see?
A land of great pride, its own language, and historic coal mines, Wales is best known for its love of music and particularly male voice choirs.
There is nothing quite so stirring as the swell of numerous voices raised in song to make the heart beat a little faster and bring tears of pride to the eye, no matter what your nationality.
It is this passion that makes the welsh folk who they are.
Lilting voices in melodic tones, and a ready smile make this a land where a warm welcome is always guaranteed. Little wonder why visitors flock in their droves to enjoy welsh hospitality when they choose this country as a holiday destination..

The Legend Of St David..

All countries have their Folklore, and their Saints, and Wales is no different. March 01st is a national celebratory festival known as St David's Day, honouring a man who was to bring early Christianity throughout Wales and Britain, and the rich welsh historic culture.
This Saint is said to be the patron of Poets, Doves, and of course his homeland of Wales.

St David, known as Dewi Sant in welsh, was brought into this world in the middle of a fierce storm, perhaps a portent of what was to be.
He was born of royal family lineage. His mother was Non, daughter of a welsh chieftain of Mynyw in South Wales, and his father, Sant the grandson of a prince of Ceredigion.
Little is known of David's early life, as fact and fiction become so intertwined at this point, but he studied to be a priest under the tutorage of St Paulinus, a blind monk at Hen Fynyw Monastery.
Legend tells us that he performed many miracles, one of which was to restore his mentor's sight!

It is through St David that the leek became an emblem representing Wales..
During a bitter battle against the Saxons, he realised that in the heat of battle, many of the welsh soldiers were striking at their own men in confusion, so he gathered a leek growing in some low shrub-land, and advised the men to wear it on their hats so they could be easily recognisable, saving many lives needlessly lost. Hence the leek, known in welsh as Cenhinen, became the official emblem of St David from that day onwards..Strange but said to be true.
It is interesting to note that the Daffodil, also a traditional emblem of Wales is Cenhinen Pedr meaning Peter's Leek.

A Man Of God And The People..

David was an unusual man for his time. He was a vegetarian, who ate only herbs, bread and vegetables, and drank only water. He was called Dewi Ddyfrwr by his men, literally meaning the 'Water Drinker'.
It seems he had a great affinity for water, as it was often stated that he would stand in a river with water up to his neck, quoting scriptures...

David became a missionary and travelled extensively spreading the word of God. He founded twelve Monasteries in all, one sited at the famous Glastonbury site in Britain and also one at Mynyw, which is now St Davids in south west Wales. It was whilst he was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem that he was made Archbishop.
From priest to Bishop of Mynyw, and to Archbishop of Wales, David's popularity grew wherever he travelled. He comforted the sick, spread the scriptures and helped out his fellow man whenever he could and was held in high esteem by all who met him.

Described as a tall man of over 6ft in stature and fair of face, he had a gentle, learned nature and an impressive singing voice.
Prepared to preach a large crowd of followers at Synod of Llandewi Brefi one day, there were disappointed cries that he could not be seen by all, David lay a handkerchief on the ground and stepped onto it and before their very eyes the earth on which he stood rose up until all could see and hear him clearly.

It was said that on the day of his succession to Archbishop, a white dove suddenly appeared and settled on his shoulder, and this was taken as a sign that he was being blessed by the heavens above.

David died of old age on March 01st 589A.D at Mynyw.
An observer at the time claimed that he watched angels come down and carry St David's soul up to heaven, his mortal remains were laid to rest in a shrine in what is now St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.
His last words to his devoted followers were said to be "Be cheerful and keep your faith and belief, and do the little things that you have heard and seen through me."

In the year 1120A.D, Pope Callatus II officially canonised David as a Saint.

St David's Day.. Customs and Traditions.

St David's day falls on March 01st each year, and is a colourful, vibrant festival of song, dance, parades and feast. It stirs the heart of every welsh man, woman and child and has been the cause of great celebration dating back to the 12th Century.
Young girls are encouraged to wear the national costume of Wales, and many pin the welsh symbol of a daffodil or leek to their clothes to mark this special occasion.
Traditional songs sung in the native language, and folk dances are all part of the St David's day festival. It really holds something for all and displays the welsh pride at its best.

Usually a special light meal called 'Te Bach' is set out to mark St David's day, consisting of a welsh broth made with lamb and leeks and known as 'Cawl', plus 'Bara brith', a famous welsh fruity tea bread is served, and 'Pice ar y maen', better known as welsh cakes are offered.
The festival really does celebrate its welsh roots and culture.

The Eisteddfod, a competitive festival of arts plays an important part too, encouraging youngsters from local schools to participate and discover their creative talents.

I have my own fond memories of participating and honing my skills in creative writing as a child in this, which encouraged me to be the poet I am today.

Wales..


My Wales..
I feel you tugging at my heart,
oh my Wales..
Your valleys whisper "Croeso",
welcoming me home,
back to the land of my father's birth
once so long ago.
The welsh breeze makes the Daffodils
dance and smile,
their nodding golden heads
gladden my soul..
The welsh lilt in a voice
stirs a dim, distant memory..
It matters not
how far I may wander
from your green verdant valleys,
for I carry you within me
always and forever.
Oh sweet land of song,
spiritual home of my soul.
You will always tug at my heart,
my cariad.. my Wales.

Credits and Acknowledgements:

May I wish you all a fond "Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus" Happy St David's Day my friends and thank you for looking in on me..

A little something to get your tongue around if you want to take up the challenge..Good Luck! \0/

Please feel free to check out Songbird's B Portfolio.

Articles I have published on Origins and Traditions include:

The Origins and Tradition of St George's Day.
The Origins and Tradition of St Patrick's Day.
The Origins and Tradition of Mothering Sunday.
The Origins and Traditions of Valentines Day.
Remember, Remember the 05th of November.
Mother's Day..A Celebration.

Why not join us here on Wikinut and earn royalties as you write?

Many thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the use of images on this article, and youtube for the embedded videos.

Tags

Celebrations, Customs, Dewi Sant, Eisteddfod, Festival, Male Voice Choir, March 1St, Origins, Saint, Songbird B, Songbird B Articles, St David, St Davids Cathedral, St Davids Day, Traditions, Wales, Welsh Culture, Welsh Food, Welsh Legend

Meet the author

author avatar Songbird B
Hi there! I am Songbird B, and I am a semi-pro female Jazz vocalist. I have a huge passion for Jazz music, and I love writing Poetry, which I have done all my life. I am very Spiritual in my beliefs, and love Photography, Music and Garden Design....I...(more)

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

That was quick Mark! Thanks for the moderation and the Star too..I remembered your advice my friend about timing and publishing..

It's nice to be back again in the Wikinut family after some time away..\0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
24th Feb 2014 (#)

What a truly fascinating, mesmerizing article, Songbird. An absolute pleasure to read. Wonderful images and videos.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Steve.. As you know I have been away working on my own projects last year, but it is good to be back my friend..Glad that you enjoyed \0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Welcome back Songbird B!! Ditto Steve's comments. I learned something new. I never knew about St. David's Day.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Hello Jerry..I found this a fascinating article to research and am glad you enjoyed it too.. I am half welsh so this is a celebration close to my heart. Thanks for looking in on me..\0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
24th Feb 2014 (#)

I like these pieces about traditions and holidays. Please keep them coming!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Phyl..I hadn't realised just how many I had done till I started adding the links to my page! I have been away from Wikinut for some time but hope to catch up with everyone on here now that I have returned..Thank you for looking in on me..\0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Feb 2014 (#)

So happy to see you again Songbird - to say you were missed is a gross understatement. A fantastic post that will remain in my memory for a long time replete with videos, pictures that are vibrant. These traditions are captivating, and touching that the children take to them with pride and gusto - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Siva, bless you for your warm welcome dear friend. Too many demands on my time has kept me away from Wikinut, but I am hoping to start reposting articles on here now that I have returned.. It is good to be back within the talented Wikinut family once more dearest friend. Bless you for your kind words. \0/xxx

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Lady A, thank you for your poetic words but they do not belong on my page so I have deleted them. I see some things never change...
Thank you for looking in on me though. I hope all is well with you. \0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Delicia Powers
24th Feb 2014 (#)

I feel that tug at my heart too Songbird- you have brought to my Maine door the feel of this lovely holiday...the place...the time ... the very fabric... what you have given us is an amazing depth... created by tradition...rich indeed in feeling and your heart....a joy to read and be remember..Songbird- I can feel that fresh damp Wales spring wind- just now -breeze through my closed tight winter windows... :0) many thanks Songbird- so glad to see you post once again..!!!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Ah sweet friend Delicia, so good to see your post and your smiling face once more.. I hope that I have brought the essence of Wales and its culture back through my page.. Though born and bred a Londoner and proud of my roots, my soul without doubt belongs to Wales and her people.. Never have I felt more at home than when I am standing in the welsh valleys.. It is truly my spiritual home.

As always, your post is truly poetic and a total delight to read my friend. \0/xxx

Reply to this comment

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning, Songbird. I only got the go-go-go part so far. What a lovely tribute to Wales. As a Davis, we can trace back to there. I thoroughly enjoyed the article, as well as the two song selections. Beautiful additions. Thank you for this. ~Marilyn

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

lol..oh Marilyn I wondered how many would be brave enough to try out that last video!! Well done! I have perfected that bit, it's just the rest I am struggling with! lol Lovely to see you here on my page my friend..\0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mariah
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Aah..here she is, my lovely Bev.. back at wikinut,and with such style my friend...I love this bright,colourful vibrant Welsh Celebration, such great reading..'a star attraction' in every way..well done and a huge welcome back my love xxxx

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2014 (#)

Hello Mariah! Great to see you too dear friend.. Yes, I am back in the writing mode now that my project has been completed..Glad you enjoyed the article ... Did you attempt the last video too? lol..\0/xxx

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mariah
24th Feb 2014 (#)

I did..and I was really bad ha ha

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
25th Feb 2014 (#)

I have tried several attempts too..lol..It's a great way of teaching though! Good on you my friend and I thought it would make my readers chuckle..\0/xxx

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
25th Feb 2014 (#)

My wife has visited Wales twice, I would like to go there sometime, in the summer though.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
25th Feb 2014 (#)

The only trouble with Wales is that it can be awfully wet Mark, lol, but it really is beautiful, and the welsh-folk are very welcoming.. I hope you get to visit one day my friend.
Thanks for moderating my article and posting a comment too..\0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Intersting and informative article, thanks for facts behind St Davids Celebration!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you for looking in on me Fern, hope you enjoyed my article. Nice to see you here on my page. \0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Great post. I enjoy reading about history and like tradition. So good to see you back.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
25th Feb 2014 (#)

Ah bless you dear Kingwell, it is good to be back again my friend. Am hoping to catch up on many of the articles I have missed whilst I was away.. Hope you found this page informative.. \0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
25th Feb 2014 (#)

a great piece Bev and the pics are fabulous...so glad to see you back here...blessings..

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Hi Caroline, good to see you too my friend.. I have missed being on Wikinut among such talented writers..It's good to be back again and even nicer to see you dropping into my page..\0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
26th Feb 2014 (#)

we have missed you too Bev and look forward to lots more of your writings here XOX and hugs too..

Reply to this comment

author avatar richardpeeej
26th Feb 2014 (#)

What a lovely write up this is Bev my friend. I was born in Wales, lived there and worked in Cardiff. It brought back many great memories for me. I loved your poem too and it is so good to see you back with us..x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Good to see you too Rich.. Wales holds a special place in my heart for me I must admit..I am so glad that a true welsh-man approved of my article..Thank you so much for looking in on me..\0/xxx

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password