What is St David’s Day?

Photo of people waving Welsh flags at a St David's Day celebration
St David's Day celebrations in Cardiff. Photo credit: Gareth James

This article about St David’s Day was updated by the Great British Mag team on 1st March 2022

St David’s Day is the day that the Welsh celebrate and honour their patron saint, St David. This happens every year on the 1st March as it marks the day St David died. While this might sound grim it is actually a huge day of celebration for people in Wales.

It’s not an official bank holiday, but parades are held every year on the streets of Cardiff to commemorate David. But who was David?

  • He was a Welsh bishop from the 6th Century
  • His birthday is unknown, poor guy can never have a birthday cake
  • It is believed he visited Glastonbury during his life and commissioned a sapphire altar…but maybe he was just visiting for the Glastonbury festival
  • He is said to have lived for more than 100 years
  • His most well-known phrase is “Do ye the little things in life”
  • There is a Welsh prophecy from 930 which says the Welsh people will unite behind Saint David’s banner and defeat the English. Talk about a long-running rivalry
  • The flag of St David flies over many Welsh buildings and homes

How is St David’s Day celebrated?

St David’s Day celebrations will be held in cities and towns all across Wales. The Welsh are famous for their poetry and singing so there will be lots of that, as well as parades and castle tours. You’re sure to see Wales’s national animal, Y Ddraig Goch – the Red Dragon – out on the streets.

There are many ways which you can celebrate St David’s Day, even if you are not in Wales. For example, you can buy a bouquet of daffodils because the daffodil is a symbol of Wales. Or you could put on your apron and make some Welsh cakes or cheesy Welsh rarebit. If you’re up for a challenge, try learning the Welsh national anthem – it’s sung in the Welsh language!

Happy Saint David’s Day to you all!

You may also want to read

10 things you didn’t know about St David

Five facts about St George

Who was Saint Patrick?