St David’s Day 2014: A Look into the Cultural Significance and Welsh Patron Saint

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | March 1, 2014 1:58 AM EST

On 1 March each year, people in Wales and those of Welsh origin throughout the world celebrate the life of their patron saint, St David. It is also a day to celebrate Welsh culture that extends to many part of the world, including the United States.

St David's Day Celebrations
St David's Day Celebrations (Wiki Commons)

During the time that remembers Welsh traditions, the Welsh flag is often seen as a symbolic representation of the day, as do the daffodils or leeks pinned to clothing.

St David plays a very important role in Welsh culture, but very little is known about his life. It is believed that he lived almost 100 years of age and died on 1 March. While the year of his death is disputed, tradition holds that he died on that day in the year 569.

Folklores also suggest that he was very gentle and physically robust and tall, despite eating a frugal diet. His father was Sant, the grandson of a prince of Ceredigion in south-west Wales, and his mother, Non, who was the niece of the legendary King Arthur.

The patron saint of Wales is said to have travelled extensively to Wales, England (Cornwallin the south-west), Brittany in France and also possibly to Jerusalem and Ireland. Before eventually becoming an archbishop, he founded several churches and a monastery in Wales. 1 March was included in the church calendar as St David's Day, after he was canonized in 1120. People then started making pilgrimages to St David's monastery, which still stands on its original site.

More information on the importance of St David's day can also be found here

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(Photo: St David's Day Celebrations / )
St David's Day Celebrations (Wiki Commons)
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