St David's Day: An International Celebration
On 01 March every year, the country of Wales proudly celebrates St. David's Day with Saint David as their patron saint of Wales. In his honour, we wish to celebrate the day with our international Astutis family.
In this piece, we go through the historical relevance of the day and the man himself. We will reveal how the day is celebrated throughout Wales and how our wider geographical family can celebrate along with us.
History of Saint David in the Welsh Saint Philosophy
Saint David is widely recognised as one of the greatest Saints in Welsh Saint philosophy, generating a country-wide following that remains today.
Born in 500AD in the rocky cove of Caerfau, David is believed to have founded approximately twelve monasteries across the country he dedicated his devotion to. In doing so, Saint David helped father some of the most angelic religious shrines across the British Isles.
He became much more than a religious figure for his country. His cultural impact remained long after his death on 01 March 589AD.
His death is therefore remembered every year on this date. As this day later transitioned into an annual national festival in the 13th Century, daffodils and leeks became symbols of respect for the Saint. These symbols have since become national symbols for the country of Wales.
His persona was captured and became a spearhead for the Welsh Independence against the impending English Imperial rule. Welsh forces were fighting underneath banners finger painted with his name.
Saint David is honoured by one of his most historic sites, Saint David's Cathedral. The cathedral itself has a fable-like history. Constructed in Pembrokeshire, much like other monasteries he helped shape, the build is rich in Welsh folklore and can only be seen to be believed. The cathedral faced attacks from English Commonwealth Forces but still stands strong today. We recommend to those new to the legend of Saint David that they start their research through looking at Saint David's Cathedral.
Contemporary Interpretations and Traditions of Today
One mainstay of the Saint David's Day celebrations is, where possible, the excessive consumption of food. This is no joke. In fact, Saint David's Day is also called 'Feast Day' in some areas.
As time moved forward and traditions evolved, the Welsh also evolved their celebrations. In the most recent of times, the day has come to symbolise Welsh heritage and culture. The legend of Saint David has been interwoven into the very essence of Welsh culture. The national sport of Wales, Rugby, will forever be associated with the yellow daffodil worn by thousands of Welsh supporters on matchday.
Children in Wales celebrate the day in their annual school Eisteddfodau (pronounced Eye-stead-ford). Students use the day to undertake special talent shows and team exercises to discover new passions and uncover unique talents.
Devout followers of the Legend of Saint David go above and beyond to prepare a particular cuisine for the day. These culinary delights include the Welsh soup Cawl, Bara Brith bread, Welsh Cakes and Welsh Rarebit.
In devoting his life to his religious mission to God, he himself has become a god-like figure to Wales. Referenced in almost every facet of Welsh popular culture, his status cannot be understated.
We hope this blog has ignited a keen interest in Saint David and the celebrations behind the legend. We invite members of the worldwide Astutis family worldwide to join in the festivities. Don't forget to try or make some Welsh Rarebit (it's worth it!).
As a health, safety and environmental training provider, we hope to replicate the same legendary universal devotion, as Saint David, in what we believe in, global Health and Safety.
We are Astutis - Born on Welsh heritage, living and breathing through our international learners.
Happy Saint David's Day, everyone!
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