Thursday 1 March 2012


If you're Welsh - you'll know what this special day is. If not St David is Wales' patron saint and today, 1st March, is his Feast Day. All over Wales, children will be dressing up going to school, people will wear daffodils or leeks and favourite foods may be eaten. Welsh cakes are a particular favourite and so easy to make. The picture in the calendar is of one of Wales' beautiful beaches - why go abroad?

St David - or Dewi Sant as he is known in Wales - was a 6th C monk who became a bishop. Before he was born his father, a prince of Ceredigion, which is a part of Wales, had a dream in which an angel told him that if he went down to the River Teifi he would discover three treasures that would fortell the life of his unborn son, a stag, a salmon and a swarm of bees. these three are sacred creatures of the Celtic animal kingdom and they bring the gifts of spiritual power, wisdom and sweetness.

Despite his high rank in the Church, David and his monks lived a life of simplicity in West Wales, wearing nothing but animal skins, labouring in the fields cultivating bees and caring for the poor and sick. The last advice he gave his followers before his death was to pay attention to the "little things" in life rather than get caught up in th eillusion of grand gestures. His saying "Gwnewch y pethau bychain" "Do the little things" is a well known phrase in Welsh and has proved a timeless inspiration and a recipe for peace of mind.

Saint David's Day is a day of Welsh national and cultural pride all over the world. The flag of Y Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon, will be flying high and festivities include singing dancing poetry and wearing of the daffodil or leek. Thanks to Mara Freeman from her book Kindling the Celtic Spirit for the information on St David.