Celebrating St.David’s Day

St. David’s Day, celebrated on March 1st, marks a significant occasion for the Welsh people, both at home and across the globe. As Wales’s national day, it’s a time for reflection, cultural appreciation, and a celebration of Welsh identity.

An Enduring Legacy

St. David stands as an iconic figure within the tapestry of Welsh history, heralded as the preeminent figure of the 6th-century Welsh Age of Saints. Renowned for his religious fervour and visionary leadership, St. David holds the distinction of being the sole native-born patron saint of Britain and Ireland, a testament to his enduring legacy.

The primary source of information regarding St. David’s life comes from the writings of the 11th-century scholar Rhygyfarch. According to Rhygyfarch, St. David was born circa 500 AD in Pembrokeshire, from the lineage of Ceredig ap Cunedda, the king of Ceredigion. Throughout his life, St. David embarked on a journey of spiritual enlightenment, founding numerous monastic communities and churches across Wales, Brittany, and even England, potentially including the renowned abbey at Glastonbury.

Legend has it that St. David embarked on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he ascended to the esteemed position of archbishop. In what is now St. Davids in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, he established a rigorous religious community, exemplifying a life of piety and austerity, subsisting on a diet of leeks and water, and reputedly performing miraculous feats.

On the 1st of March, 589 AD, St. David departed from this world, leaving behind a legacy that would endure through the centuries. Canonised by Pope Callixtus in the 12th century, St. David’s Day, commemorated annually on March 1st, serves as a testament to his profound influence and enduring impact on Welsh culture and spirituality.

Celebrations & Traditions

One of the most striking features of St. David’s Day celebrations is the sea of vibrant yellow daffodils adorning lapels, shopfronts, and public spaces throughout Wales. Symbolising rebirth and the arrival of spring, the daffodil holds a special place in Welsh hearts and is synonymous with the spirit of St. David’s Day.

In addition to the floral displays, Welsh communities come alive with a myriad of events and activities. From traditional concerts and choir performances to lively parades and folk dances, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. These gatherings not only showcase Wales’s rich cultural heritage but also foster a sense of unity and belonging among its people. The National St. David’s Day Parade takes place in Cardiff, and  will set off at 12:30 on Friday 1 March 2024 from Boulevard de Nantes at the end of King Edward VII Drive, assembly begins from 12:00 midday. Find out more HERE. Meanwhile, in Brecon there’s a St. David’s Day concert, featuring The Band of the Prince of Wales. This free concert is a patriotic celebration of stirring Welsh music with debut performances of works by young composers, we are also delighted to be able to team up with two excellent choral ensembles. Discover more and book tickets HERE.

Cuisine plays a central role in St. David’s Day festivities, with traditional Welsh dishes taking centre stage. From hearty bowls of cawl, a traditional Welsh soup made with lamb and root vegetables, to indulgent slices of bara brith, a fruit loaf infused with tea and spices, there’s no shortage of culinary delights to savour. Many families also partake in the age-old tradition of baking Welsh cakes, sweet treats that have been enjoyed for generations. We welcome you to join us at our Lodge Restaurant & Bar to discover some of our great local food.

Beyond the festivities, St. David’s Day serves as a reminder of Wales’s storied past and enduring traditions. It’s a time to honour the legacy of St. David, the patron saint of Wales, whose teachings of kindness and humility continue to resonate with people of all backgrounds. We believe there’s a palpable sense of pride and camaraderie among Welsh communities. Whether gathered with loved ones or joining in the celebrations from afar, St. David’s Day is a moment to cherish and reflect on the rich tapestry of Welsh culture and heritage.