Celebrate St David’s Day Without Breaking The Bank
March 1 is an important day in the Welsh calendar as we commemorate the feast of our patron saint David.
What makes this year’s celebrations even more special is that the weather looks good, the children are on school holidays and there’s plenty of family freebies on offer!
So pin your daffodil and leek to your outfit and let’s celebrate a day of Welsh patriotism – without breaking the bank
- 16 Cadw sites, that normally charge for admission, will open their doors for free — including the spectacular St Davids Bishop’s Palace, located near the site where Saint David founded his monastery. There’s also free entry to sites such as Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, Caernarfon Castle, Castell Coch and Conwy Castle. Visit www.cadw.gov.wales
- A series of parades takes place in some of Wales’s cities and large towns. The national parade takes place in Cardiff and assembles outside City Hall in Cathays Park at 12.30pm. Come and enjoy the atmosphere as hundreds snake their way to through the city before a rousing rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. Visit www.stdavidsday.org/ for details. If Cardiff is a bit of a distance to travel, then check out online for celebratory events in Caernarfon, Aberystwyth and Swansea amongst others.
- For those living further north, the folks at Portmeirion have waived the usual £8 entrance fee in celebration of St David’s Day. Visitors will enjoy complimentary guided tours of the village and a land train through the Gwyllt woodland as well as an audio-visual show featuring Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis explaining how and why the village was built. The gardeners have also planted over 3,000 daffodils for the occasion.
- Bangor has a wide selection of free events aimed at children all week long, not just on Friday. You can find out more about the events along with other activities in North Wales here – www.dailypost.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/st-davids-day-2019-events-15871454
- Further south and you’ve got everything from free Welsh cakes to live gigs to make your day even more special. One well known pub chain is offering a free pint to anyone called David or Non! Find out more – www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/freebies-you-can-st-davids-14340934
- If you’d prefer to stay at home then why not take the children into the kitchen and show them how to make some traditional Welsh cuisine? St David’s Day is known for feasting on warm cawl or Welsh rarebit which are both very simple (and cheap!) dishes to make for the family. Find the recipes here for cawl www.visitwales.com/explore/traditions-history/recipes/cawl or for Welsh rarebit visit www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1500641/welsh-rarebit
- The weather is looking fantastic so why not take advantage of the beautiful Welsh landscape? Just pack yourself a picnic and go trekking across the Brecon beacons, strolling the beaches of Gower, following the Welsh coastal path or visiting Llandudno’s great Orme or Snowdonia. You can follow in the footsteps of our patron saint for free by joining an eight mile journey in St David’s itself. For further details visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/in-the-footsteps-of-st-david-journeying-day-walk-tickets-56802962189
St David’s Day began more than 800 years ago to commemorate the day our patron saint who died in around 589 A.D.
He is thought to have been born around 500 AD in Pembrokeshire and his reputed mother Non was also a saint. He was trained as a priest under the tutelage of St Paulinus.
Various miracles are attributed to him, 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.
Saint David became a renowned missionary in Wales and beyond, and is credited with founding monasteries in his homeland, the south-west of England (including Glastonbury) and Brittany.
Whatever you do, have a great time a celebrate our patron saint in style. Happy St David’s Day! Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!