Monday, 1 March 2010

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant

Y Ddraig Goch - The Red Dragon

Just in case you hadn't realised, today is the Feast of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, so today's blog has a slightly Welsh feel.

David was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, who was amongst the first of those to spread the message of Christianity among the pagan tribes of Wales. He was born towards the end of the 5th century (around 100 years after the Roman departure from Britain) in Capel Non on the coast of South West Wales (near the present day city of St David, which grew from the monastery which he founded).

He travelled widely throughout Wales, but is also believed to have visited Cornwall and Brittany. Many miracles are credited to him, the most famous of which is said to have occured in Llanddewi Brefi at a synod to debate his suitability for appointment as Archbishop of Wales. The crowd at the back being unable to hear, he is said to have spread his handkerchief on the ground and stood on it, causing the land to rise into a small hill thereby allowing all to see and hear his message. Not surprisingly, he was made Archbishop very shortly thereafter!

1st March was chosen to celebrate his day because it is believed to be the anniversary of his death in 859.

Before anyone races to educate me (always a good thing!)... Although it is the national flag of Wales, the Red Dragon is not actually the flag of St David. His flag usually appears as a gold cross on a black background and will be widely used during celebrations today. My Red Dragon was snapped flying over the crennellated parapet of the gate tower of Harlech castle (above), which I have seen many times, but actually entered for the first time last summer.

Most of my Welsh wanderings have been northern and to me, the real attraction of Wales is the juxtaposition of the mountains and the sea; much enhanced by dual language signage!


Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus!

1 comment:

  1. What a delightful detour you've provided us with, today! I know nothing at all about Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus and I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce it! Thank you for introducing me to yet another piece of information I know I would not have stumbled upon anytime soon (if ever!) - were it not for your blog, I would have had no knowledge of this.

    I'd love to explore that castle :)