St Davids Day. It's like a mini St Patrick's.

The first of March is Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant, or St David's Day. Once a religious day it's evolved into a celebration of Welshness in the same way St patricks day celebrates Ireland.

St Davids Day. Its like a mini St Patricks.

IT STARTS WITH ELVIS.

Saint Ailbe of Ireland gets translated into Eilfyw or Eilfw in Welsh which then gets translated into Elvis in English. As a baby, he was to be put to death but instead was left in a forest where he was raised by wolves.

Mmm lunch, nope best not
Mmm lunch, nope best not
Watch out for falling cows
Watch out for falling cows

St Patrick had foreseen the birth of David and this comes to bear when Nonita or Saint Non gets raped by a king. A preacher then foretells of the unborns power which upsets another king who orders the baby to be killed on its birth. Thankfully, God sends a storm keeping everyone at home and upon a cliff she gives birth to David. Elvis is now a bishop and adopts David. David grows up goes around spreading Christianity, founding monasteries, and performing miracles. The Preseli hills are nearby, jump to your own conspiracy theories.

Anything Jesus can do we can do better
Anything Jesus can do we can do better

REALITY CHECK

You've probably guessed in Celtic history facts, mythology and legends get tangled together quite a lot. Although Welsh and Irish contains some of the oldest literature in Europe, most of it is from bards praising kings. Although many Celtic stories may have real historic events behind them by the time they were recorded centuries later quite a bit of fan-fiction had slipped in.

St Davids cathedral in st davids
St Davids cathedral in st davids

Wales and Ireland at the time were churning out saints by the hundreds. The bar to become a saint wasn't set particularly high and so when centuries later the church had a bit of a saint clear out, most were dropped and only the star names like Patrick and David remained. A lasting legacy is 630 places in Wales start with "Llan" (The area covered by a church) which confuses satnavs and lost tourists.

MODERN TIMES

A flag parade
A flag parade

David became a teetotal vegetarian who only drank water and ploughed the land by hand refusing to use oxen. However in modern times we often celebrate the day by eating lamb and drinking beer.

Proper food. None of that Irish potato crap.
Proper food. None of that Irish potato crap.

Many pubs will give you a free drink if your name's David or Dewi. However unlike St Patricks day it's not seem as an excuse for an almighty piss-up which is why it's less popular globally.

A typical st David day card
A typical st David day card

Shops will sell "Happy St David's Day" cards but not many people buy them. It's only people who send Easter cards that bother.

Pity the poor parents who have to buy a new costume when they grow out of it next year
Pity the poor parents who have to buy a new costume when they grow out of it next year

Many towns will hold a parade but these are small compared to the more famous St Patrick's ones. Many places will hold events like music festivals and concerts

Even the immigrants are forced into it.  You will be assimilated.
Even the immigrants are forced into it. You will be assimilated.

Children will attend school and events in traditional dress. Little girls love it far more than the boys since the male version is pretty boring. You can buy cheap costumes in supermarkets if you don't love your children but proper ones are easily available.

No, just no..
No, just no..

The media is filled with images of kids in traditional dress or dressed as daffodils and dragons or just in their rugby kit. You won't be surprised to learn the cuter kids get positioned at the front of the group photo while the ones who turn up in a rugby shirt get hidden at the back.

A dragon parade
A dragon parade

Schools usual host an Eisteddfod. The word means "sitting together" and is a festival of poetry and music. Parents are forced to endure kid after kid reciting the same poems over and over.

St Davids Day. Its like a mini St Patricks.

Eisteddfodau occur throughout the summer for both kids and adults with the largest one attracting 100,000 to 150,000 people and thousand of competitors. making them one of worlds biggest cultural events you've never heard of. The big ones are televised so you can enjoy hours and hours of poetry, harp plucking and folk music. Most kids first experience is their schools St David's one.

Leeks tasty, daffodils poisonous. Lets give them the same name what can go wrong
Leeks tasty, daffodils poisonous. Let's give them the same name what can go wrong

The whole leek/daffodil thing comes from a battle with the Saxons in which David told soldiers to wear leeks in their helmets. Unfortunately in welsh leek is"cenhinen” and daffodil is “cenhinen pedr” over time things kinda got mixed up.

Nothing like a leek poking you in the eye
Nothing like a leek poking you in the eye

Today the Welsh Guard (the ones you see outside Buckingham palace) eat raw leeks on St Davids day and wear them in their hats.

Ive got a little leek in my cap
I've got a little leek in my cap

I'll end this Mytake with his last words, “Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do."

St Davids Day. It's like a mini St Patrick's.
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