St David’s Day

Celebrating St. David’s Day in 2024

Every year on March, the Welsh come together to celebrate their patron saint St. David. With parades, concerts, traditional meals and more, it’s a lively day to commemorate Welsh culture and heritage. Read on to learn all about this historic celebration and how you can take part!

When is St David’s Day

St. David’s Day always falls on March 1st, in honor of the saint’s death on that day in 589 AD. The date lands on different days each year, but you can count on big festivities across Wales every March 1st.

MARCH 1 2024

Who was St. David?

St. David (Dewi Sant in Welsh) was a monk, bishop and well-loved teacher in the 6th century. He advocated an ascetic lifestyle and founded several monasteries, including one at Glyn Rhosyn (St. Davids) where a cathedral now stands in his honor. St. David became renowned for his teaching and holiness – legends even attribute miracles to him! He was canonized in 1120 AD and March 1st was designated his feast day.

It’s Not a National Holiday!

There are many traditional ways to celebrate St. David’s Day in Wales, as well as in Welsh communities around the world. Some common St. David’s Day traditions include:

Traditions and Customs

To celebrate their patron saint, the Welsh don traditional symbols on St. David’s Day. Daffodils and leeks are the most iconic, worn in lapels, held in parades or presented to friends. Children take part too, dressing up in traditional Welsh costume. Concerts and eisteddfodau (Welsh cultural festivals) celebrate music and poetry. Many communities host parades and events, making March 1st a true national festival.

Stories of the brave knights slaying the dragon are what usually comes to mind.

St David’s Day Events

The Welsh really come together on St. David’s Day for large-scale events. In Cardiff, thousands attend the St. David’s Day Parade which marches through the city with bands and dancers. Towns like Swansea and Aberystwyth also hold parades full of music and costumes. The St. David’s Day Eisteddfod brings nationwide cultural competitions in singing, dancing, art and more. Wherever you are in Wales, you’re sure to find festive happenings.

Celebrating at Home

Celebrating with a feast: Many people celebrate St. David’s Day by having a special feast or dinner. Cook traditional foods like Welsh cakes or cawl, a hearty lamb stew. Tell children the story of St. David and his contributions to Wales. There are many ways to experience some Welsh culture on March 1st!

St. David’s Day honors an essential figure in Welsh history with nationwide celebrations. With concerts, costumes, food and parades, March 1st commemorates heritage while bringing the community together. Next year, join in the festivities however you can – St. David’s Day has something for everyone!

Whether you’re in Wales or across the world, March 1st is the perfect day to celebrate Welsh history and culture.

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