PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

Pin a Daffodil to your clothes, it’s St. David’s day!

Saint David’s Day is the celebration of the patron saint of Wales, Saint David. Since the 12th century, when Pope Callixtus canonised him, St. David has been celebrated throughout Wales and around the world every 1st of March, the date of his death in 589 AD.

Every year Wales bustles with life, filling your eyes with vivid tones of red, yellow, and green, with the shapes of exuberant dragons, innumerable flags of all sizes, and stunning Daffodils and leeks, in addition to vibrant traditional dresses and delicious food.

Many people mark St David’s Day by wearing daffodils or leeks, the national emblems of Wales. Legend states that thanks to St David’s suggestion that the Welsh wear a leek in their helmets during a battle, they could easily be distinguished from their enemies, and subsequently defeat the Saxon invaders.

Many people wear daffodils (easier to find in March) as they look like the Welsh leek flower.

Along with the Daffodil and the leek, the dove has become another St. David’s emblem. It is said that the Saint could perform miracles. At one time, while preaching to a crowd in the village of Llanddewi Brefi, he was able to raise the ground where he stood so that he could make it possible for the entire audience to hear his sermon.

His message didn’t mention extraordinary things, but little ones, which evoke the fine teachings of the great minds, preaching by living his own principles: “do the little things, the small things you’ve seen me doing” or “do the little things that you have heard and seen me do”.

Monastic life was also very austere, consisting of hard work such as cultivating the land to produce their own food, keeping themselves fed on a vegetarian diet, as well as providing food and lodging for travellers and poor people.

As a missionary, St David travelled throughout Wales and Britain and during his pilgrimage to Jerusalem he was consecrated bishop. After founding 12 monasteries, he was named Archbishop of Wales at the Synod of Brevi, Cardiganshire in 550 AD.

After his death in 589 AD, his remains were buried on the site of St. David’s Cathedral, which became a very popular place of pilgrimage through the Middle Ages.

By the 12th century, more than 60 churches in Wales had also been dedicated to St David. Also, on St David’s Day 2019, a great number of Welsh heritage sites will be free of charge to celebrate the patron saint – including St David’s Bishop’s Palace in Pembrokeshire.

If you are currently located in Cardiff join the celebration! Assembly time is at 11.30 in King Edward VII Avenue, between Cardiff City Hall and the Law Courts. The Parade starts at 12.30 pm.

Let’s feel a little more Welsh today and wish the next person you meet ‘deethe goil Dewi hapeece’ that is how you phonetically pronounce "Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus” namely “Happy St. David’s Day” in Welsh!

Let me also remind you of Wordsworth's famous poem, 'Daffodils,' also called, 'I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud'. This beautiful poem will take you to a journey carried by a gentle breeze among soft yellow Daffodils hills.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud 
By William Wordsworth 

I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 
Continuous as the stars that shine 
And twinkle on the milky way, 
They stretched in never-ending line 
Along the margin of a bay: 
Ten thousand saw I at a glance, 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 
The waves beside them danced; but they 
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: 
A poet could not but be gay, 
In such a jocund company: 
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought 
What wealth the show to me had brought: 
For oft, when on my couch I lie 
In vacant or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon that inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
And dances with the daffodils. 

Vincent Willem van Gogh, Dutch, 1853 ‑ 1890. “Couple Walking Between Rows of Trees” 1890 Cincinnati Art Museum, Bequest of Mary E. Johnston
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About Peartree Languages

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.


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