The History of St David’s Day
Posted on 24 Feb 2017
Visiting the North Wales region on March the 1st is a very special affair indeed. Our beautiful country house hotel in Caernarfon is a beautiful sight indeed while surrounded with daffodils, and the charming towns of Bangor and Caernarfon are full of revellers enjoying the occasion. From children in red shawls and black chimney hats, to almost every single shop being adorned with bright daffodils and leeks, the North Wales region indeed embraces St David’s Day, and it’s one of the very best times to visit North Wales.
Have you wondered about the history of St David? While we’re all eager to participate in St David’s Day celebrations, a staggeringly small amount of us know what the man was actually canonised for; and while indeed the day is mostly about Welsh heritage and culture, the man’s life was rather an interesting one.
St David was originally said to have been born around the year 520 – a surprising 1427 years ago! This was a time when the Princes of Gwynedd- the most powerful dynasty in medieval Wales were fighting with one another and the English Crown to secure their lands, which stretched all the way from Anglesey to Snowdonia – and more than likely included the land that the Ty’n Rhos Country House Hotel is situated upon!
St David was said to have been born in a wild thunderstorm on some cliffs, and also said to be the son of the King of Ceredigion, Sanctus, and a nun named Nonnita, which is affectionately known even to this day as Non. St David was said to have founded a monastery in 550, very close to where he was born. There, he and his fellow monks lived a life of piety, and a very simple one. Accounts dating from back then state that he and his monks drank only water, and ate only bread – seasoned with herbs. Piety aside, we’re certain that our beautiful restaurant in Caernarfon could tempt them to indulge a little – if it were around back then.
The monks, alike many others around that time period, indeed worked the land, but St David, with the view that all of God’s creatures are equal, insisted that they must pull the plough themselves, and carry the tools without working the animals which grazed.
As for St David’s Miracles, there were very many of them, which include bringing a dead boy back to life by shedding tears upon his face, and restoring a blind man’s sight – though his very best known miracle came from preaching in Llanddewi Brefi. Accounts state that he was preaching to a large crowd, but understandably, some members of his audience experienced some problems hearing him.
Word is that a single white dove landed on David’s shoulder, and the ground upon which he was standing rose up suddenly, forming a small hill. This made it possible for all to hear his message. A church was built upon this hill, and stands to this day – with a great number of churches, chapels and cathedrals (some very close to us!) built in honour of the man.
St David is a Welsh legend, for very good reason. Even without raising patches of earth, saving lives and calling doves, St David promoted caring for animals and the natural world, as well as leaving behind wonderful pieces of advice. For instance, his final statement “Do the little things. The things you’ve seen me doing” is an excellent reminder that small, thoughtful things indeed count.
From all at Ty’n Rhos, have a very happy St David’s Day.News
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