For our non Welsh clientele, today is the Feast of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales. St. David’s day has been celebrated since he was canonised by Pope Callixtus II, in the 12th Century. Customs for the day include parades in some towns, the wearing of traditional Welsh costume and consumption of traditional Welsh food like Welsh Rarebit, cawl, laverbread, lamb shank, Welsh cakes, & (my personal favourite) Bara Brith. Celebrating Welsh Culture is the order of the day, so seeing people in their Welsh football or rugby shirts, and kids (& Adults) dressed in traditional national costume would be pretty commonplace.
St David is thought to have been born around 500 AD in Pembrokeshire on the west coast of Wales. Non, the woman believed to be his mother, was also a saint. He was trained as a priest under the tutelage of St Paulinus. Various miracles are attributed to St David, including restoring the sight of his teacher and, most famously, creating an entirely new hill (now the village of Llanddewi Brefi) during an outdoor sermon. He was named the Archbishop of Wales at the Synod of Brefi church council in 550, but remained in the settlement of Menevia – later named St Davids in his honour – where he had set up a large monastery which is now St David’s Cathedral. We don’t know exactly when he died, but 1 March became the accepted date, with the year most commonly estimated at 589AD. His body was buried at St David’s Cathedral, which became a prestigious site of pilgrimage in the middle ages.