Saturday, 28 February 2015

SAINT DAVID'S DAY - Daffodils by Charles W Hawthorne

DAFFODILS  by Charles W Hawthorne
Saint David was born at the end of the 5th century. He founded a monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western edge  of Pembrokeshire, where St David's Cathedral now stands. David's fame as a teacher spread throughout the Celtic world and Glyn Rhosin became an important shrine and place of pilgrimage. He died 1 March, possibly 588.

Wales was not part of the United Kingdom until 1485. Henry VII of England, who was part Welsh, became King of England after victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field.  Henry VII founded the House of Tudor and during his dynasty the royal coat of arms included a Welsh dragon. In 1959, the king's green and white banner, featuring a red dragon, was adapted to become the Flag of Wales.

Saint David became patron saint of Wales at the height of the Welsh resistance to the Normans. March 1st has been the Welsh national festival since the Middle Ages. It is marked by wearing a daffodil partly because that is when they are starting to bloom in his native Wales. Saint David's Day is not an official holiday, but it is celebrated by Welsh societies around the world with dinners, parties, recitals and concerts. By the 18th century "taffies", gingerbread figures in the shape of a Welshman riding a goat, were also consumed on March 1st.