If you’re studying in Wales, then you’ll probably know the importance of tomorrow (March 1) in the country. Don’t worry if you’re feeling a little under-prepared or don’t know the history of the day; here are some St David’s Day facts, sayings and greetings so can jump in with the celebrations.
March 1 is St David’s Day in Wales, which means you’ve left it a little late to try and get involved. Luckily, we know how hectic the student schedule is, particularly this time of year, so have got all the information you need to impress the locals in one place.
What Is The History Behind The Day
St David is the patron saint of Wales and his life and work are celebrated on March 1 each year. To mark the day, Welsh people can wear one of the country’s two emblems, a daffodil or a leek.
In primary schools, children typically come in wearing traditional dress, or assemblies are held where they dress up and learn the history of the day.
It’s celebrated on March 1 as this is believed to have been the day that David died. The saint is celebrated due to his founding of twelve monasteries, being part of miracles and spreading Christianity around Europe. A Welsh national, his body is buried at St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.
Nowadays, parades are held in the larger cities of Wales such as Cardiff and Swansea, with St David’s Day feasts around the country. You’ll be certain to see some St David’s flags flying on the day too, which is black with a yellow cross.
Facts, Greetings And Sayings To Celebrate
What better way to show commitment to the country you’ve chosen to study than by learning some St David’s day greetings, facts and more to show off to your friends and impress down the pub?
St David’s Day Facts
- Leeks are worn as they were worn by soldiers during their battle against the Saxons. Wanting to be able to distinguish them from the enemy, St David told the Welsh soldiers to wear the vegetable. When they then won the battle, it became a national emblem and was associated with the day.
- It is believed that St David was a vegetarian. Not only that, but his diet was mainly water and leeks! Perhaps that’s another reason for leek to become a national emblem.
- You’ll often see a dove in pictures with the saint. This is because his most famous miracle was forming a hill when preaching so that those at the back could hear him. After it happened, a white dove sent by god sat on his shoulder.
- St David is the only British/Irish saint to be born in the country he is a patron of! Legend believes that he was born atop a hill in Pembrokeshire during a storm!
- The day is not a public holiday! Although St Andrew’s Day in Scotland and St Patrick’s Day in Ireland are, St David’s Day is not a bank holiday. Though there have been campaigns and petitions to get it recognised, they have been rejected in Downing Street.
Greetings To Use On St David’s Day
Whoever you pass tomorrow, use one of the following to send some Welsh well-wishes.
- Happy St David’s Day – simple and to the point
- Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Happus – this is the Welsh version, pronounced ‘deethe goyl dewi hapis’. You’ll really be showing off with this!
- Have a joyous St David’s Day with loved ones
- Mwynha dy ddiwrnod! – this is Welsh for ‘Enjoy your day’ if you’re a little more versed in Welsh.
- Cymru a Byth – this means, ‘Wales, forever!’.
Traditional St David’s Day Sayings
Lastly, a few more traditional sayings you might want to throw into your day.
- ‘Do the little things’ – this is believed to have been St David’s final words.
- You can even say the above in Welsh, which is ‘Gwnewch y pethau bychain.’ This is pronounced ‘goo-new-ch e peth-aye beesth-ay-n meh-oun bwee-d’
- ‘Be joyful‘ – this was another part of the saint’s final words.
Now you know the history, facts, greetings and more, there’s nothing stopping you from getting involved now!