It may be the lesser known Welsh version of Valentines day, but St Dwynwen’s day holds a special place in the heart of many Welsh people, as a day to appreciate the loved ones you have around you.
On the 25th of January every year, people all over Wales celebrate St Dwynwen’s day, the Welsh patron saint of lovers through the giving and exchanging of gifts and words. Although St Dwynwen devoted her life to the happiness of lovers in the 5th century, it was only during the 1970’s that St Dwynwen’s day began to gain recognition, with celebrations of the day increasing over the past few years.
Despite a recent surge in couples celebrating St Dwynwen’s Day, it is predicted that only 52% of couples in Wales will chose the 25th of January celebrate their love, through the giving and receiving of traditional welsh gifts. The Welsh daffodil is a particularly prominent gift to give, as it is a celebration of faithfulness and re-birth due to their resilience and flowering even after particularly harsh winters.
If you’re planning to celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day this year, then how about breakfast or brunch in bed? We have a fantastic Welsh Rarebit recipe, made using Blas y Tir quality Welsh leeks, as well as Welsh cheese and butter – a truly stunning combination. Nothing says I love you more than a bunch of daffodils, a cup of tea and a hearty Welsh Rarebit! Visit our recipe pages here!
Are you celebrating St Dwynwen’s day this year? We would love to see your photos and find out how you are celebrating! You can ‘like’ us on Facebook and ‘follow’ us on Twitter to share – and also enter our fantastic prize giveaway!
…And just in case you haven’t heard of the story behind St Dwynwen’s day, Visit Wales have it covered:
“The story goes the Dwynwen was the prettiest of Welsh king Brychan Brycheiniog’s twenty-four daughters. She fell in love with a man named Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had already arranged for her to marry someone else.
Distraught, Dwynwen prayed to God and asked for help in forgetting Maelon. An angel visited her in her sleep and gave her a potion to erase her memory of feelings for Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
With each of her dreams coming true, Dwynwen devoted her life to God; she set up a convent on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey. The remains of the church can still be seen on the island, along with Dwynwen’s well.
It’s believed the well is home to sacred fish who can predict whether couples relationships will succeed; if the fish are seen to be active when visiting the well, it was seen as a sign of a faithful husband.
God offered Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed, the second that God should meet the needs of all lovers and the third that she should never marry.
The well has since become a place of pilgrimage for young Welsh lovers since Dwynwen’s death in the 5th century.”*
*Sourced from Visit Wales, St Dwynwen’s Day