Saint David’s Day (Welsh: Dewi Sant) is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales and falls on 1 March, the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century by Pope Callixtus II.
Saint David was a Celtic monk born towards the end of the fifth century and was Archbishop of Wales. He spread the word of Christianity across Wales, founding 11 churches across Wales and Brittany. His influence is shown by the number of churches dedicated to him in Wales.
Traditional festivities include: wearing daffodils, which are usually in full bloom by 1 March, and leeks , recognised symbols of Wales and Saint David respectively – the tradition of wearing a leek is said to have arisen when a unit of Welsh soldiers were able to distinguish each other from troops of similarly attired English enemy soldiers by wearing leeks; eating traditional Welsh food including cawl [a broth of meat, carrots, potatoes, leeks and swedes] and Welsh Rarebit; and women wearing traditional Welsh dress. An increasing number of cities and towns across Wales, including Cardiff, Cardiff, Swansea and Aberystwyth, also put on parades throughout the day.
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