That’s the question that most Americans will ask as the inhabitants of Wales and all of its expatriates celebrate St David’s Day, today.
The answer, if you were to ask most Americans, would probably be, ‘isn’t that part of England?’ well, no, it certainly isn’t.
Many of my ancestors emigrated to America and it’s a shame that the majority of their descendants may not know of the beautiful land that their ancestors once came from.
Wales, or Cymru as it is in Welsh, is a country bordering with England and is part of the United Kingdom (or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to give it its proper title) along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and today, the 1st of March is St David’s Day.
Saint David, also known as Dewi Sant in Welsh, was born in Caerfai in Pembrokshire, Wales to Sant, a prince of Cardigan, and St Non, the daughter of a chieftain in around 500 AD.
He was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans and St David’s Day is in remembrance of his death, which is believed to have occurred on that day in 589AD, and he is buried in St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.
St David spread the word of Christianity and founded twelve monasteries and, apparently, also performed several miracles in his lifetime with the most famous being when he raised the ground beneath him into a hill during a sermon so everyone could hear what he had to say.
Celebrations on St David’s Day, especially for schoolchildren, involves the wearing of traditional Welsh clothes, daffodils (the national symbol of Wales) and generally celebrating all things Welsh.
The flags that can be proudly displayed today are the flag of St David, a yellow cross on a black background, or Y Ddraig Goch – the Red Dragon which is Wales’s national flag.
From today Caerphilly Castle has a new Welsh Dragon attraction to celebrate St David’s Day and to encourage more visitors to the wonderful sights that Wales has to offer.
More information on this wonderful Dragon can be found here:
And for those wishing to see how beautiful Wales really is please take a gander at http://www.visitwales.com
Happy St David’s Day to all the Welsh people and their descendants wherever you may be!