St David’s Day – flags, parades and daffodils

Last Saturday marked the celebration of St David’s Day in Wales. Saint David is the patron saint of Wales and the first day of March was chosen in remembrance of his death.

saint-david

Saint David portrayed on a window

A native of Wales, Saint David (Welsh: Dewi Sant) was born towards the end of the 5th century, his date birth is still uncertain, and became a famous teacher and preacher. He founded several monastic settlements and churches including a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western edge of Pembrokeshire, the spot where St David’s Cathedral stands today. This foundation became an important Christian shrine and the most important centre in Wales. He most possibly died on 1st March 588. Apparently some of his last words whilst being prepared for his death were: “Brothers be ye constant. The yoke which with single mind ye have taken, bear ye to the end; and whatsoever ye have seen with me and heard, keep and fulfil.”

queens-square

The parade in Wrexham ended at Queens Square

This year I thought I’d take part in some of the festivities for a change and as the sun was shining I headed into Wrexham for the parade and Welsh market. It was really nice seeing the children in their traditional outfits and enjoying themselves. Another thing to notice as well is that almost everybody is wearing a daffodil pin (the daffodil is a national symbol of Wales). The parade ended with some music, a couple of speeches and the national anthem ‘Old Land of My Fathers (Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau)’. And to be honest, it is quite something to have a town square full of people sing the national anthem. Makes even me feel somehow patriotic about my adopted home.

little-girl

The children definitely had fun

Next stop was Chirk Castle where there was free entry and a free performance by the Fron Choir, so not to be missed.

chirk1

Next stop – Chirk Castle. I’ve never seen the car park that full.

chirk2

Chirk Castle was built in 1295 by Roger Mortimer de Chirk as part of King Edward I’s chain of fortresses across the north of Wales.

Unfortunately there was a bit of rain and hail while I was driving there what meant that the first set of the choir took place in the castle’s chapel which was way too small for all people to fit in there. So unfortunately I missed the first set but luckily the second one took place in the courtyard as the weather had improved. The choir was impressive as ever and the setting just perfect.

chirk3

People are gathering for the Fron Choir performance.

fron-choir

I’m a big fan of the Welsh male choirs, especially the Fron Choir.

What a way to celebrate a nation and its patron saint.

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