Monday, 14 February 2011

St David’s Day: 10 things you need to know about the Welsh festival

Saint David of Wales (

1. St David’s Day falls every year on March 1. This was the date patron saint of Wales, St. David died in 589.
2. It wasn’t until the 18th century though that St David’s Day was declared a national day of celebration in Wales.
3. Saint David is typically depicted holding a dove, and often standing on a hillock. His symbol is the leek.
4. In 2007 Tony Blair rejected calls for St. David’s Day to become a Welsh national holiday, despite a poll saying that 87% of Welsh people wanted a March 1 holiday.
5. A Welsh stew, named Cawl and containing lamb and leeks, is traditionally consumed on St. David’s Day.
6. Across Wales on Mar 1 St. David’s Day parades take place, and in bigger cities food festivals, concerts and street parties also occur.
7. 2009 saw the inaugural St. David’s Week festival in Swansea, a week-long event featuring music, sporting and cultural events.
8. Bizarrely, Disney's Mickey and Minnie will turn Welsh this week when the St David's Welsh Festival at Disneyland Paris begins.
9. X Factor finalist Rhydian Roberts will perform in Swansea alongside the Chamber Orchestra of Wales and the Morriston Orpheus Choir to celebrate St. David’s Day.
10. Despite the fact that Saint David abstained from drinking and advised others to do the same, a number of Welsh breweries make special St. David’s Day ales. Cardiff brewers Brains describe theirs as ‘a light, daffodil coloured ale, dry hopped with Styrian Goldings to create a thirst quenching spring ale with a refreshing bite and dry hop aroma.’

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