Today is a very important day in the United Kingdom. It is Ron Weasley’s birthday.
Also, it is St. David’s Day.
St David’s Day is a BIG deal in Wales … as it should be considering 1) St David was Welsh and 2) he is the patron saint of Wales and 3) honoring him was a key part of helping the Welsh retain a cohesive national identity after Edward I and his troops decimated the country in the thirtieth century.
To properly celebrate the day in Wales, one must wave the extremely cool Welsh flag about, which I think everyone in Wales should do daily because WOW there is a DRAGON on it. Bonus points if the flag has “Blessed St. David’s Day” on it in Welsh.
The literal translation of “gwyl” is “white”, but it means “blessed”. I know this, because my daughter Bronwyn’s name is literally “white breasted” in Welsh but it means “blessed person”.
There are also parades in Wales on this day, and people dressing in traditional Welsh costume. The costumes are especially cute on school children, FYI.
The daffodil and the leek are both important symbols to show off on St David’s Day as well.
The leek is associated so strongly with St David because he told a sixth century Welsh army to wear leeks into battle so they could more easily distinguish one another from the similar-looking invading force of Saxons (English). The daffodil came into play because the Welsh word for leeks, cennin, and daffodils, cennin Pedr (Saint Peter’s leeks) are nearly the same, plus or minus a Peter. The British government prefers daffodils because it has a less ‘let’s-kill-the-English-invaders’ vibe to it.
Here’s hoping everyone, Welsh and those with Welsh Envy alike, have a wonderful and blessed St. David’s Day!