Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy St. David's Day!

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant!

Happy Saint David's Day to all my Welsh family and friends, both here in America and at "home."
Around 1930, when my maternal grandparents were preparing to leave Wales for America, family and friends were aghast that they would take their child to a country overrun with cowboys and Indians and everyone was running around with a gun.
Thomas Jefferson's wrote the following on the first page of his Autobiography on January 6, 1821:
The tradition in my father's family was that their ancestor came to this country from Wales, and from near the mountain of Snowden, the highest in Gr. Br.

St. David [c. fifth/sixth century] was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of the Welsh resistance to the Normans, according to Wikipedia. March 1st is celebrated as his feast day as it is generally recognised as the date of his death.

Leeks and daffodils are Welsh symbols. Legend claims that in 633 leeks were worn by a Welsh troop to distinguish themselves from the English (Saxon) enemy, while the alternative (and less aromatic) daffodil - which blooms at about this time - is preferred by the English government as being less representative of Welsh nationalism (Plaid Cymru). Their Welsh names are similar: cenhinen = leek, cenhinen Pedr = daffodil/Peter's leek.
"Gwnewch y pethau bychain" - Dewi Sant (b. circa 520 - d.circa 589)