St. David’s Day
When is St. David’s Day?
St. David’s Day is an annual holiday that celebrates the life and work of the related patron saint from Wales. It is celebrated every March 1st. While there are few records available about St. David’s personal life, his popularity and dedication to Christianity is what created this widely celebrated holiday.
Who Was St. David?
St. David was a popular bishop from Wales. The exact date of his birth is unknown, but BBC estimates that he lived until the year 589. In other words, he is expected to have lived within five hundred years after Christ was born. David was born in the southern coast of Wales, around the present-day area of St. David’s city. He dedicated himself to Christianity early in life and went to school at a monastery. It was his passion to spread Christianity throughout his home country, so he became a missionary. He eventually made it to England and even Italy. Technically, David was a Celtic monk.
Before his death, David established his own Celtic monastery. In fact, he was laid to rest at the school grounds. According to BBC, he became the official patron saint to represent Wales at some point during the 12th century. He was a widely popular bishop who was known for his interpersonal skills. During large events, for instance, he made sure he was visible by all attendees.
While the exact details (and even year) of is death are unclear, there is speculation that David died on March 1st. This is one of the reasons why St. David’s Day falls on the first day of March every year.
Transition to St. David’s Day
Just as many details of St. David’s life are unknown, no one knows exactly when St. David’s Day first came to light. Naturally, however, the holiday was first celebrated in David’s home country of Wales. As many Welsh families immigrated to other countries, such as England and the United States, they took the traditions of St. David’s Day with them. Parades, feasts and parties are commonplace on this holiday, where many participants even dress up in Celtic costumes.
While St. David’s Day holds historic and religious significance to the people of Wales, the holiday is not observed on a national scale. The decision is made by the government of the United Kingdom. This means that, while many people celebrate the holiday, government holidays and banks do not close. The same goes for celebrations in other countries, such as the United States.
Symbols of St. David
The official flag of Wales is a green pasture that features a red dragon. On and around St. David’s Day, however, Wales flies another official flag. The flag of St. David is solid black with a yellow cross in its center. This flag is flown during St. David’s Day in Wales, but it may also be featured in celebrations throughout other countries. Some celebrators also choose to fly both the flag of St. David and the Wales national flag together. This gesture shows a celebration of St. David as well as the country in which he was born.
Flowers may also be worn to commemorate St. David, particularly daffodils. Derived from the narcissus family, the daffodil is known for its bright yellow bulbs, which also symbolize good luck.