The meaning behind St David’s Day on Wednesday, March 1

Welsh National Day/Shutterstock Images

Every year on the first of March Welsh people and their friends celebrate all things Welsh, heritage and culture, food and drink.

There is a parade in many towns and in the country’s capital, Cardiff. The feast day of St David, patron saint of Wales, falls on the anniversary of his death in 589 AD.

Glastonbury Abbey was founded by St David who was famous for creating a hill under his feet where he spoke about God. From an aristocratic family, he was a humble man, a missionary, who advocated that his monks, not cows, pull the plough and they only had bread, leeks and water in their diet.

His last words to his followers came from a sermon he gave on the previous Sunday: ‘Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.’ Gwnewch y pethau bychain—Do the little things.

St David was a teetotal vegetarian who is said to have cured his tutor of blindness with a sign of the cross and revived a dead boy by splashing the child’s face with his tears.

St David has been patron saint of Wales since the 12th century when there were more than 60 churches dedicated to him. Pope Callistus II said two pilgrimages to St David’s were worth one to the Vatican, so important a man and saint he is.

This year’s St David’s Day in Wales the campaign #CaruCymruCaruBlas #LoveWalesLoveTaste is returning. Businesses and families are celebrating with Food and Drink from Wales. Dishes like cawl (stew) and Bara Brith (Welsh cakes), Glamorgan sausages and perhaps a sip of an Aber Falls spirit might be on the table in your house or in a restaurant across the country.

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