Celebrate St David’s Day from home
In Wales, March 1st is St David’s Day or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant in Welsh. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales and the day is a celebrated nationally.
This year we are celebrating St David’s Day a bit differently and wanted to share some ideas of how to bring a little bit of Wales and the Brecon Beacons to you, at home.
Who is St David?
Saint David was a Welsh bishop of Mynyw (now St Davids) born around 500 AD. Known for his preaching, his founding of many monasteries and churches and his miracles. The best-known miracle being the rising of a hill on which he was preaching, allowing the crowd to hear and see him more clearly. Saint David died on 1 March in 589 and was buried at the site of St Davids Cathedral, Wales.
How is St David’s Day celebrated in Wales?
In Wales, St David’s Day is a time to celebrate Welsh heritage and culture. Traditions include women and children dressing in traditional Welsh costume and people wearing a daffodil or leek – Wales’ national emblems. Schools hold concerts, known as Eisteddfodau, with poetry readings and singing in Welsh, and in a normal year Welsh cities and towns hold concerts and parades.
Here in Wales we are passionate about Welsh food and, throughout the country, traditional Welsh foods are enjoyed on St David’s Day. Dishes include Welsh lamb, cawl, which is similar to a soup, laverbread, bara brith, Welsh cakes and Welsh rarebit. (If you are planning a visit to the Brecon Beacons this summer, be sure to visit The International Welsh Rarebit Centre)
Celebrate St David’s Day from home
With travel restrictions in place at the moment, here are some ways to experience the best of Wales and the Brecon Beacons from home this St David’s Day.
A taste of Wales
From the Brecon Beacons to your door; enjoy a taste of Wales at home. Buy delicious Welsh Venison direct from the farm – straight to your fork, from The Welsh Venison Centre. Send someone (or yourself) a Really Welsh Hamper from Black Mountains Smokery, filled to the brim with delicious, heart-warming Welsh produce. Take part in a virtual tasting with Penderyn Distillery and sample their award-winning single malt whiskies and spirits made in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons. Black Mountains Preserves, a new small Welsh business, has Welsh gift sets with Welsh gin, lemon and lime marmalade and traditional Welsh cakes. And for pudding Brecon Chocolates have created St David’s Day milk chocolate bonbons!
‘Walk’ the Brecon Beacons National Park
Iconic sections of the Park are available to ‘walk’ from the comfort of your own home. Miles and miles of some of the most scenic trails in the Park including the Beacons Way and Offa’s Dyke Path are free to view through Google Maps Street View. With us all under Stay at Home restrictions it’s the next best thing to being here!
Welsh Myths and Legends
Wales and the Brecon Beacons are landscapes full of myths and legends. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are said to be sleeping away the centuries in a cave in these hills; not far away, the most famous soprano of her time built a world like a wonderland. We have a collection of local stories re-imagined and re-written by Horatio Clare, which never fail to evoke the magic of the Brecon Beacons in your mind. Each has a downloadable walk; something to plan for when it’s safe to do so.
Learn the language
Welsh is spoken throughout Wales and in the National Park you’ll hear it in the towns to the West and along the southern fringes. All children in Wales learn Welsh and more and more people are learning this native language to safeguard its future.
To help you on your next visit, take some time to learn a few Welsh phases:
Bore da (Boh-reh dah) – Good morning
Prynhawn da (Prin-houn dah) – Good afternoon
Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus (dee-the goil De-wi ha-peece) – Happy St David’s Day
Croeso i Gymru (Croy-so ee Gurghm-ree) – Welcome to Wales
Diolch (Dee-olch) – Thank you
Visit Wales. Later.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Brecon Beacons National Park when it’s safe to do so. Plan your getaway for later in the year and come and discover Wales and the Brecon Beacons soon.
Blog sponsored by ATLANTIC CULTURESCAPE– celebrating the links between our culture and our landscapes.
The project is co-financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme through the European Regional Development Fund. Disclaimer: This blog and its content reflects the author’s views; the programme authorities are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.