Is that love in the air? If you’re in Wales on 25 January (yup one week today), then it most certainly is. This is St Dwynwen’s Day, when we honour our Welsh patron saint of lovers. It’s our very own version of St Valentine’s Day – although we celebrate that too (we do like to celebrate things!). We’re just a nation of passionate romantics (oooh romantic beyond!!). So here’s all you need to know about St Dwynwen, and how you can get a piece of the amorous action.
Who was St Dwynwen?
A 4th-century Welsh princess who lived in what is now the Brecon Beacons National Park. Dwynwen was unlucky in love, so she became a nun and prayed that true lovers have better luck than she did. We celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day – 25 January – in much the same way as people mark St Valentine’s Day on 14 February (Sorry fellas another date to remember – but just think about all those Brownie points!)
How did she become the Welsh patron saint of lovers?
Dwynwen was the prettiest of King Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters (ouchey…and just think about the que for the bathroom in the morning!). She fell in love with a local lad called Maelon Dafodrill, but King Brychan had already arranged for her to marry another prince. Maelon took the news badly, so the distraught Dwynwen fled to the woods to weep, and begged God to help her. She was visited by an angel who gave her a sweet potion to help her forget Maelon, and turned him into a block of ice (like ya doo).
God then granted Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; second, that God help all true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. In gratitude, Dwynwen became a nun, setting up a convent on Llanddwyn Island, a beautiful little spot on Anglesey. Her name means, ‘she who leads a blessed life’.
Incidentally, as well as being the Welsh patron saint of lovers, she’s also the patron saint of sick animals. So if your budgie’s unwell, try praying to St Dwynwen before calling the vet.
What happens on St Dwynwen’s Day?
Quite simply, it’s the most romantic day of the year in Wales (but only just ahead of every other day in Wales because we are a loving bunch you know *sweet smile). We exchange cards and gifts (hoping for a set of car keys, but lets face it that probably isn’t going to happen), gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes over candlelit dinners (preferably without spaghetti bolognaise down your new white Primark shirt), take long walks on deserted beaches, run through meadows in slow-motion (is there another speed then?) while holding hands, carve lovespoons, cwtch (that’s Welsh for cuddle…awwwww) up in front of roaring log fires, and put on our smartest underwear. Just in case (not the one with an Iron-on print of ‘ who else loves Daniel Craig’)
Does everyone celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day in Wales?
Not everyone, but it’s becoming increasingly popular, especially among Welsh speakers. But you don’t have to be Welsh-speaking, or even Welsh to join in the love-fest. You have our total blessing to surprise your loved one with a special St Dwynwen’s Day treat, and what better treat than a romantic stay in our Luxury Shepherds Hut.
Many thanks to www.visitwales.com for all this info. Take a look at their website for all things Welsh!!