Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!
Celebrated on 1st March, St David's Day is the national day of Wales and has been celebrated since the 12th century.
Who was St David?
St David is the patron saint of Wales and is often referred to as one of the most significant figures in the Welsh Age of Saints. He was born in the year 500 and was the grandson of the King of Ceredigion, Ceredig ap Cunedda. Legend has it that St David was born on a cliff top near Capel Non, which is on the South-West coast of Wales. The ruins of a small ancient chapel near a holy well mark his birth.
During medieval times, it was also thought that St David was the nephew of King Arthur. St David became a priest after being educated at the monastery, Hen Fynyw, and according to legend, was said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime.
He became a missionary, travelling throughout Wales and Britain, and is said to have made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he brought back a stone that now resides in an altar in St David's Cathedral. St David's Cathedral was built on the site of his original monastery.
St David died on 1st March 589 and was buried at St David's Cathedral, a well-visited pilgrimage place during the Middle Ages.
His last words to his followers were, "Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do." The phrase "Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd", which means "Do the little things in life", - is still a well-known proverb in Wales.
What is St David's Day, and how is it celebrated?
St David's Day is known as a feast day. A feast day is the day when a saint dies, and as saints are considered to already be in Heaven, the date when a saint dies is believed to be their 'heavenly birthday' or 'entrance to Heaven'.
Traditionally St David's Day is celebrated with dancing, singing and parades, and songs are sung in Welsh and English along with the National Anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
The daffodil and leek are both national symbols of Wales, and you'll often see them being displayed or worn as a sign of national pride and to celebrate the day.
An interesting fact is that the leek is a national symbol for Wales, as St David told the Welsh soldiers to wear them on their helmets during battle to help differentiate them from the enemy.
Daffodils are Wales's national flower, and the Welsh for daffodil is Cenhinen Pedr, which translates to St Peter's Leek. You'll see plenty of daffodils in bloom in late February and early March across Wales.
St David's Day is not an official public holiday, but it is a chance to celebrate all things Welsh.
Welsh dishes and recipes
We've pulled together some of our favourite Welsh dishes for you to try on St David's Day.
Art and craft ideas to celebrate St David's Day
At Abbeyfield, our houses and homes enjoy art and craft sessions, so we've collated some easy arts and crafts you can do at home to celebrate the day.
Retirement homes in Wales
Thinking about your retirement? Abbeyfield has many homes across Wales.