We would like to wish our Welsh readers a Happy St Davids Day!
St David plays a very important role in Welsh culture but little is known about his life. It is believed that he lived to be 100 years old and that he died in 589, but the first texts on his life only appeared around five hundred years after his death. This means that it is difficult to tell which aspects of the St David’s story are true and which are legend. He was supposed to have been very gentle and physically strong and tall despite eating a frugal diet. His parents were Sant, the grandson of a prince of Ceredigion in south-west Wales, and Non, a niece of the legendary King Arthur.
St David travelled widely throughout Wales, Cornwall in the south-west of England, Brittany in France and possibly to Ireland and Jerusalem. He founded several churches and a monastery in Wales and eventually became an archbishop. St David was canonized in 1120 and March 1 was included in the church calendar as St David’s Day. People started making pilgrimages to St David’s monastery after he was canonized. A cathedral still stands on its original site.
Details from www.timeanddate.com
One of the symbols of St Davids Day alongside the Leek and Welsh Flag is the Daffodil. As well as the usual annuals I have lots of miniature Daffodils this year and they are gorgeous! So perfect in every way, I am thoroughly enjoying them.
There are some rather interesting facts about Daffodils:
- The Daffodil is the flower of the 10th anniversary of marriage.
- In Victorian times, daffodils represented chivalry. Today they symbolise hope.
- In China, the daffodil is seen as a symbol of wealth and good fortune.
- Giving a bunch of daffodils as a gift is believed to ensure happiness but giving only one can is said to bring bad luck.
- I’m not sure what this means for Prince Charles who receives a single daffodil every year as a rent payment for land in the Isles of Scilly.
- Daffodils contain sap that is poisonous to other plants so don’t mix and match in your vases.
- Daffodils are poisonous to squirrels so keep them away from your dogs too.
- Poultry farmers believe daffodils keep hens from laying so they are often banned from their homes.
All this talk of the lovely daffodil would not be complete without the most famous and most loved poem about them.
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: —
A poet could not but be gay
In such a laughing company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.
By William Wordsworth
As well as the beautiful flowers themselves there are lots of great craft ideas featuring them. Fantastic fun to have with the kids over the weekend.