Gwyl Dewi Sant / St. David’s Day

Cydymdaith Dewi Sant, Caerdydd

Cydymdaith Dewi Sant, Caerdydd

In Wales and in Welsh Communities around the world, March 1st is the celebration of the Welsh patron saint, Dewi Sant. Born in the 5thC, Dewi (David), sent many years of his young manhood as a slave in Ireland, captured during an Irish invasion of his homeland, near present day Castell Nedd (Neath). He traveled to Rome and converted to the Christian faith after he gained his freedom, returning to Wales to preach and convert the Celt chieftains.

Today, the Welsh celebrate their patron saint with concerts, community evenings, cawl and pice man (Welsh cakes), folk dancing—especially the clog dance—eisteddfodau (poetry, dancing and singing competitions), dress in traditional Welsh costume and commemorate the life of St. David and his many teachings.

The most famous of his sayings is “Gwnewch y pethau bychain.” (Do the small things.) People in Wales take this very much to heart, especially with regard to children. One of the largest youth festivals in the world takes place at the end of May, Eisteddfod yr Urdd. Yr Urdd was first founded to support children’s education in the Welsh language. St. David’s Day is particularly a children’s celebration, focusing on their musical and performing talents.

And if Wales happens to be playing a Six  Nations Rugby match on or near the day… everyone is overjoyed.

Cofiwch y pethau bychain.

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Filed under Cymraeg/Welsh Language, Cymreig/Welsh, Hanes Cymru/Welsh History

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