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St David's day 2018

St David's day 2018

What’s Going On and Why Do We Celebrate?

People from across the Wrexham area will gather today (March 1st) to celebrate St David’s Day….weather permitting!

Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Vice Chancellor Maria Hinfelaar and Student Union President Travis Davies will be chief among those representing the university in the town centre celebrations.

Travis said: “I am delighted that the University and the Students’ Union have come together to celebrate Saint David’s Day. It’s important as a Welsh university that we remember and celebrate our Welsh traditions and representing the university and the Students’ Union at the Saint David’s Day parade is an honour, not just for the staff involved but the students too.”

Those wishing to join the parade should gather outside the Guildhall from 12.30pm ready to leave at 1pm. Under the leadership of Band Cambria, the parade will make its way through the town ending in Queen’s Square. Local school pupils will perform and there will be a chance to join in with singing Calon Lân and the national anthem Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau to the accompaniment of the Wrexham County Senior Brass Band.

Who Was St David?

A lot of the stories about St David cannot be verified but have made their way into Welsh legend. He was definitely born sometime between 520 and 540 AD and certainly became a monk. He was said to have founded a monastery in the area now known as St David’s and to have performed several miracles.

One of the miracles was giving sight back to his blind teacher Paulinus, and when a large crowd gathered to hear him speak at Llanddewi, David was said to have placed a handkerchief on the floor, stepped on it, and the ground beneath his feet rose so that everyone could see and hear him. Many say that at this point a white dove landed on his shoulder, symbolising his sanctity.

It is said David had a hand in the leek becoming a national symbol. When Welsh men were defending their land from Saxon invaders and struggled to distinguish friend from foe, David suggested they pluck leeks from the ground at their feet and wear them on their hats. Soon all soldiers had one on their cap and the Welsh won the battle.

Should St David’s Day be a National Holiday?

A campaign to make St David’s Day an official national holiday in Wales has gained momentum in recent years, with even some political parties calling for the move. A 2016 poll by ITV found that almost 96 per cent of voters thought St David’s Day should be an official bank holiday, and in February month North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones and his Dyfed-Powys equivalent Dafydd Llywelyn urged the UK Government to give the Welsh Assembly the power to introduce the holiday in Wales.

At present St David’s Day is celebrated across Wales with parades similar to Wrexham’s, school eisteddfods, and eating traditional dishes such as cawl and Welsh cakes.

About the author

Laura Edwards

Laura Edwards

Laura graduated from the University of Hull and has spent 17 years working in journalism and public relations. A former chief reporter on several local newspapers and communications officer for the National Assembly for Wales, Laura is currently a freelance communications specialist.