Thursday, 1 March 2012

A Day for Wales

Happy St David's Day

At the Oakeley Arms we're extremely proud of our Welsh heritage and culture, and so what better way to celebrate our fabulous country than to wish all our customers and friends a very happy Dydd Gwyl Dewi today! And for today's Oakeley Blog post, we thought we'd delve a little deeper into the history of St David's Day - the national day for Wales.

Dewi Sant (or St David) was born sometime at the end of the fifth century, although it's not sure exactly when. He was a Celtic monk, and founded a monastery at what was then a wild and remote corner of Wales - where the town of St Davids is now situated. There is still a fabulous cathedral there, but it has been rebuilt many times over since Dewi Sant's time.

Statue of Dewi Sant at St David's Cathedral.

Dewi's reputation as a wise and spiritual monk spread across the country, and his passionate support of his home land meant that he soon became recognised as a symbol of Welsh patriotism. The exact year of his death isn't known for sure, but he died on the 1st March. His fellow monks and followers were heart-broken and his religious foundation became an important shrine and pilgrimage site, as well as being the most important religious site in Wales.

Today, March 1st is officially recognised as the National Day for Wales, and is celebrated across the country. Children at school dress in traditional costume, there are parades, feasts, festivals and concerts to mark the day. There are even lots of events abroad - like in the USA, where the Empire State Building is lit up in red, green and white colours in honour of Wales.

So, what can you get up to in celebration of St Davids Day? You can pin a bright daffodil to your coat, you can eat a local delicacy - Welsh rarebit for breakfast or cawl for dinner, you could organise your own Eisteddfod, you could recite a welsh poem, or sing a rousing verse of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, or come and celebrate with us at the Oakeley, with a pint of local ale and a real Welsh welcome.

Whatever you get up to, we hope you all have a great day and enjoy the celebrations!

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