St. David’s Day – 1st March 2023
Oh, who doesn’t love the signs of Spring which are popping up everywhere of late? Lighter mornings and nights, slightly better weather and more colours sprouting from the ground. The humble daffodil is one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter. It symbolises re-birth and new beginnings – goodbye cold and dark days, something better is coming. It is less commonly known that daffodils are also symbols of vitality, energy, resilience, forgiveness and creativity. As a Mum, seeing a daffodil makes me smile as they are a nod to Spring and Summer. The mind wanders to walks in the warmer weather and playing outside in the garden. The promise of the sunnier seasons is our reward for getting through those long winter months. Did you know that sheepskins don’t need to be retired to the cupboard when it gets warmer? Oh no – quite the opposite. They are incredibly useful in the hotter weather as they have temperature regulating properties. They wick away moisture from the skin and provide a blanket of cool air around your little one – keeping your tot super-cool and therefore super-chilled out (which is what we want, let’s face it!). Want to know more about the benefits of sheepskins? Then, check out our section on ‘Health Benefits’ – link below…
Going back to daffodils…why are they so present at this time of year? Well, they are a symbol for St. David’s Day which is on 1st March. St. David lived a long time ago – he is known for being the patron saint of Wales. We don’t actually know which year he was born but it is thought to be somewhere between 462 AD and 515 AD. He died on Tuesday 1st March 589 AD – having said to have lived for over 100 years! Patron saints are chosen to be special guardians and protectors over all areas of life – and indeed, there are many famous stories of miracles happening around St. David.
Many traditions from long ago are still performed on St. David’s Day in order to honour the saint. Welsh people will wear daffodils or leeks on their clothes as a symbol of celebration. They are the national emblems of Wales – as we know daffodils are in bloom at this time of year but the reasoning for leeks is due to a whole other story. Legends has it that St. David told the Welsh soldiers of long ago to wear leeks on their helmets in order to distinguish themselves in battle – and it worked!
St. David – or Dewi Sant as he is known in Wales – was born on the South West coast of Wales near to where the city of St. Davids is today. He was known to be a vegetarian and an incredibly wise man. His words have lived on long after this death. His motto in life was, “Be joyful, keep the faith and do the little things in life that you have heard and seen me do.” Good words to live by. As a Mum, our whole days are often all about ‘doing the little things’ in life. These small acts bring contentment to many.
On this day, there will be parades and concerts up and down Wales. The National St. David’s Day parade is held in the centre of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, every year. Exciting performances by dragons and musical theatre groups are commonplace. People can be seen dancing, reciting poetry, wearing the emblems of Wales, wearing traditional Welsh clothes and flying the flag of St. David. Children thoroughly enjoy dressing up and performing traditional Welsh dances. There is also a special dragon parade in the small city of St. Davids in Wales, which is often talked about.
After all this exertion, Welsh people will typically enjoy traditional Welsh food as part of the celebrations. ‘Cawl’ is a stew made of meat and vegetables. Lamb, leeks, onions, potatoes and carrots are also present on the feasting table. Traditional sweet treats include bara brith (Welsh tea bread) and Welsh cakes (sweet breads) are enjoyed as desserts - offering a sweet taste after a hearty stew.
So, as my little love spots the daffodils on one of our walks, I might just be telling him about this humble flower and its connections to St. David. As they say in Wales, “Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus’ (phonetically - dee-the goil De-wi ha-peece) – ‘Happy St. David’s Day.’