Happy St David’s Day or Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus

Happy Saint David’s Day on this cold, rainy March 1st! I’ve posted about St David’s Day before so I’ll keep it fairly short. I have worn a daffodil on March 1st all my life and I have worn one proudly today. Here are some of my memories of St David’s Day when I was a child in the 50s and 60s.

There was always a St David’s Day eisteddfod (a Welsh word for a concert with instrumental music, drama, poetry and lots of singing) in our school to celebrate St David’s Day. Pupils would have been practising their performances for weeks. I was terribly shy and lacking in confidence and one year I had been put down on the list to play the piano by a prefect who somehow new that I was having piano lessons. I was terrified but, for some reason, didn’t want to admit to my parents just how much I didn’t want to do it. On the morning of the eisteddfod I feigned illness and my poor believing mum phoned the school to say that I had a terrible sore throat and headache and couldn’t go attend that day. I told my mum and dad later and, of course, they said that if I’d spoken to them about my fears they would have helped to sort it out.

Everyone would be wearing a daffodil on the day or, if the daffs were late, a leek. Imagine the smell in the school hall during the eisteddfod!! I remember that a lot of the boys in school actually preferred wearing a leek to a daffodil and would nibble at them throughout the day.

I have shown this one before . It’s my mum picking daffodils in our garden in the early 1960s.

In our village there was always a St David’s Day party in the village school, which was also used as a village hall. It was on the nearest Saturday to March 1st and consisted of a supper, party games for the children then recitals. People would just go forward in turn, not to a timetable, and either sing, recite a poem or play a musical instrument. The evening finished with everyone singing together and we would go from one song to another.

The standard hot meal on St David’s day is the traditional lamb and root vegetable stew called cawl – pronounced to rhyme with owl. A favourite sweet treat in Wales all the year round, but particularly on St David’s Day, is the Welsh cake. These are similar to scones but thinner and flatter, lightly spiced, containing dried fruit and cooked on a bakestone or griddle pan.

Credit to Google, Google Images and Wikipedia.

As always I make every effort not to infringe copyright. However, if anyone objects to my use of any imafe, please contact me and it will be removed.


11 thoughts on “Happy St David’s Day or Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus

  1. I had completely forgotten about Welsh Cakes but you are right – they are definitely a great-tasting addition to teatime, or any time.
    Our school activities on St David’s Day centred around plays depicting Welsh heroes and historical events. I recall the boys, at least, dressing up as ancient warriors (or as near as we could come) for these plays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always liked Welsh cakes better than cawl! Your school activities were a lot more adventurous than ours!! I’d probably have preferred to dress up in fancy dress than perform in a school concert. What part of Wales did you live in? Just curious! Thanks for commenting.


      • I lived in Cardiff and those plays were quite exciting, although the only hero’s name I recall now is that of Owen Glyndwr (if I’ve spelled it correctly.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glyndwr is perfectly spelled! The Welsh language version of Owen is Owain. But I’ll let you off! I think we were too small a school (28 in my primary school) and too remote (Towy Valley) for any ventures into dramatic productions.
        My mum was from Penarth, by the way.


  2. Another staple of St David’s Day was singing the hymn, “O great St. David (still we hear thee call.”) Strangely, I can still recite/sing the complete words of this well-loved hymn all these years later.

    Liked by 1 person

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