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10 things you didn't know about St David

1st March marks St David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales.  It is celebrated in Wales by children and adults wearing traditional dress and either carrying or wearing a leek or daffodil.  

If you don’t know anything about St David, who is also the patron saint of doves, read on to find out about the many legends that surround him.  

1) He set up 12 monasteries in his lifetime and he believed that monks should abstain from all worldly pleasures and endure hard labour including ploughing the fields without an OX.

2) There is a myth that he could perform miracles and on one occasion he raised the ground beneath him into a hill so his sermon could be heard by all.

3) It is rumoured he survived being poisoned by the monks at his monastery who were tired of the austerity under which he forced them to live.

4) St David is the only patron saint of the British Isles to actually be born in the area he later became a patron saint of. Unlike St Patrick who was a Romano-British missionary, St George was a Roman soldier of Greek extraction and St Andrew was from Palestine.

 Daffodils are a symbol of wales

Welsh man taking the tradition of wearing a daffodil on St David's day to the extreme. Photo credit: Visit Wales

5) The reason why both the leek and the daffodil a symbols of Wales and are used during the remembrance of St David is because the welsh word for both of these are the same!

Leeks are a symbol of Wales

People carry or wear leeks on St David's Day, but maybe not such big ones!

Photo credit: VisitEngland/Visit Northumberland

6) Legend has it that St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, foresaw David's birth.

7) People in Wales often wear or carry leeks in remembrance of St David. Legend has it he advised the Welsh soldiers to wear leeks in the battle against the Saxons so that they could distinguish allies from enemies. They won the battle and leeks became a Welsh symbol.

8) St David’s day is not a bank holiday in Wales even though St Andrew's Day in Scotland and St Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland are bank holidays.

9) St David was the inspiration for the nickname for a Welshman “taffy”. The word derives from the Welsh word ‘Dafydd’, meaning David.

10) The flag of St David is a yellow cross on a black background.  Unlike the flag of St Andrew, St George and Patrick which are all represented it the Union Jack, The flag of St David is missing!






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