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St David’s Day

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus
I bet that looks like gibberish to you, unless you happen to be a Welshman, in which case “Happy St. David’s Day” to you too.

Yes, those trademark unvoweled Welsh words read “Happy St. David’s Day.”

St David, the patron saint of Wales, is commemorated every year on the anniversary of his death on 01 March. St David’s Day is not an official national holiday, but is celebrated with parades all around Wales, where celebrants wear a daffodil, the Welsh national flower and display their leeks, the national vegetable.

Now, if I were a Welshman, I’d be slightly peeved that St David, the patron saint of my country, was not recognised with an official holiday. True he has a day named after him, and that’s pretty cool, but still, shouldn’t a man who founded 12 monasteries, made pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and, according to legend, performed miracles be elevated to being worthy of “national holiday” status? After all both the Scots and the Irish celebrate their saints with an official holiday with St Andrew’s Day and St Patrick’s Day respectively.

So why not the Welsh? It just doesn’t seem fair?

(Of course, we could ask the same question about the English. After all, St George’s Day is also not an official holiday, and every year come 23 April, social media fires up all a-twitter wondering this same question. But that’s the subject of another day and another blog post. For now, we’ll concentrate on the Welsh).

Well, I cannot answer the question, for I do not know (and frankly, neither Google nor Wikipedia were much help). What I do know is that if you are Welsh you may either want to celebrate St David or commiserate the fact that you don’t get a day off work to commemorate your national patron saint.

And what better way to do either than to savour the silky smooth easy-drinking whiskies of Penderyn Distillery, which is set in the beautiful, romantic, peaceful, and serene foothills of the Brecon Beacons.

And of course, no celebration would be complete without festive food. A traditional St David’s Day feast includes cawl (soup), bara brith tea loaf, lamb, and Welsh rarebit, which despite the name, has nothing to do with rabbits, and is in fact a hot cheese sauce poured over toasted bread. Actually, it sounds quite delicious, and would probably go down a treat with the sweet and fruity Penderyn Myth or the more complex Legend.

And with our St David’s Day special of a free glass with every Penderyn purchase, there is no reason not to celebrate.

So don your daffodils and your leeks, raise your glasses in a toast to St David and exclaim
Lechyd Da!!
(That’s Cheers!! in Welsh).