St David’s Day 2023: Who was the saint and how is the day celebrated?
Every year, Wales celebrates St David’s Day – named after their patron saint.
All four corners of the UK have a patron saint – Wales has St David, England has St George, Scotland has St Andrew, while Northern Ireland has St Patrick (along with Ireland).
The date for the Welsh occasion falls tomorrow (Wednesday, March 1), though it it isn’t a bank holiday.
Here, find out who St David was, and how the day is typically celebrated or marked.
Who was St David?
St David – or Dewi Sant – was a bishop from Wales, born sometime around the start of the sixth century.
He founded many monasteries in Wales, England and in Brittany, France. He was also a renowned preacher.
Legend has it that he performed numerous miracles in Wales, before his death in 589AD (on March 1).
Miracles he was said to perform include restoring the sight of a blind man, and even bringing a child back from the dead by splashing tears on the child’s face.
The most famous miracle was said to take place at the village of Llanddewi Brefi, when he was preaching. The story goes that the ground he stood on rose to form a hill, when a crowd he was preaching to complained that they could not hear his sermon.
He now has a city named for him, called St Davids, in the Pembrokeshire region.
The city’s cathedral has a shrine to St David, where what were believed to be his remains were once buried.
How is St David’s Day celebrated?
Visit Wales says the day is full of patriotic celebrations – including ‘parades, concerts and eisteddfodau (festivals of music, language and culture)’, and the national anthem being sung.
Adults might also wear the national symbols of Wales – such as daffodils or leeks – or fly the Welsh flag, which is white and green and features a red dragon.
Children might wear traditional costumes. The boys will wear a white shirt, waistcoat and black trousers, and the girls will be put in petticoats, overcoats, bonnets and a tall hat.
Te Bach is also enjoyed, which is a tea with a slice of traditional fruit loaf, bara brith.
If your name is David, Dewi, Dafydd, Dai or something connected to ‘David’, you might want to head to the pub, as you may be lucky enough to get a pint bought for you.
Or perhaps even nab a freebie or two elsewhere. Fingers crossed, anyway…
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