How will you celebrate St David's Day today?
Published: Tuesday 1st Mar 2016
Written by: Ginnie James
St David’s Day today, a time when primary school children all over the land spend the day dressed in traditional welsh lady costume or as rugby players or daffodils! The saint’s day is an important date on the Welsh calendar and is celebrated all over the country with parades and other special events.
As well as themed fun runs and colourful carnivals many of our most popular heritage institutions and attractions offer free entry on St David’s day itself for a great day out. If you are in the Carmarthenshire area why not pop down to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales where your visit will be accompanied by music from harpist Shelley Fairplay, the local Ukele Choir and folk duo Fiddlebox, or travel to the tip of Pembrokeshire and discover the dramatic ruins of St David’s Bishop Palace.
Closer to my home I have the pleasure of spending all day at my daughter’s school for her St David’s Day Eisteddfod. An Eisteddfod is a festival of literature, music and performance and the whole school have spent the last couple of weeks practicing songs, dances, recitations and perfecting works in many mediums from 3d art to photography.
Their theme this year is ‘Wales in the World’ and this got me thinking. At home my little girl is getting to grips with the practicalities of geography and where Wales is in relation to Nanny in the south of England and friends living further afield. But what about the place Wales holds in the collective subconscious of those living somewhere that’s not Wales on this wonderful planet of ours?
From my experience it would seem that although small in size, Wales packs a big cultural punch and although, much to my husband’s chagrin, some people do sometimes query what the difference is between Wales and England, most people would be able to tell you something of the proud Welsh celtic and industrial heritage, sporting traditions and stunning landscapes.
For me, growing up in England, Wales was all about picture perfect castles and family fun in traditional seaside towns during the holidays. Later, once I moved here and studied the history and fell in love with a Welshman, Wales became my world (apart from the rugby – but that’s another blog entirely!). My daughter is very proud of her celtic heritage and would no doubt look in horror at anyone querying where Wales is or what they should know about her country, because why wouldn’t they know already! The world does seem like it’s getting smaller with instant communication and information at our fingertips but Wales is doing a fantastic job at retaining its unique cultural identity.
What does Wales mean to you? Will you at least be indulging in a few Welsh cakes to celebrate our Saint's Day? I would love to hear about your favourite memories of Wales and your best experiences of our country and people!