Saint David's Day: 15 Facts


Most of us know about the Irish tradition of St Patrick’s Day that takes place in March. But did you know about St Davids Day, the Welsh celebration that’s commemorated on 1st March each year? And if you do, do you know what it’s all about? Here are 15 facts for you about the Welsh national day...

1.) Saint David was one of the early Saints who helped spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of Western Britain

2.) The national emblems of Wales are daffodils and leeks. It’s believed that St David instructed his Welsh soldiers to wear leeks in their helmets in battle against the loathed Saxons in order to distinguish friend from foe

3.) On March 1st each year, we celebrate St David’s Day, the day on which the patron saint of Wales died sometime in 500 AD

4.) It wasn't until the 18th Century that St David’s Day was declared a national holiday in Wales

5.) Despite a poll saying 87% of Welsh people wanted a March 1st holiday, Tony Blair, who was in power at the time (2007), rejected calls for St David’s Day to become a Welsh national holiday

6.) On March 1st, numerous celebrations take place, including parades, food festivals, concerts and street parties

7.) It’s tradition to eat Cawl, a Welsh stew, made up of lamb and leeks on St David’s Day

8.) David was also known as ‘Dewi Ddyfrwr’ (David the Water Drinker) because he drank nothing else

9.) Even though Saint David himself preferred not to drink alcohol and encouraged others to follow in his steps, several Welsh breweries produce St David’s Day ales, including Cardiff Brewers Brains, who 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.’

10.) Saint David founded a large monastery in West Wales

11.) The first St David’s Week festival took place in Swansea in 2009. This was a one-week event of music, cultural events and sporting

12.) Saint David is classically shown embracing a dove, standing on a hillock

13.) He was buried where the Cathedral now stands in the city of St. David

14.) Saint David, or known in Welsh terms as ‘Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant’, was famed for the words he declared at his last Sunday sermon: “Do the little things in life.”

15.) This nomadic cleric eventually became the Archbishop of Wales, and there are now more than 50 Welsh churches dedicated to him