The Daily Mirror today marked St David's Day with Google Doodle: 10 things you need to know about Wales' national day.
- St David's Day falls every year on the 1st March. This was the date when the Patron Saint of Wales, St David died in 589 AD.
- It wasn't until the 18th Century though that St David's Day was declared a national day of celebration in Wales.
- St David is typically depicted holding a dove, and often standing on a hillock. His symbol is the leek.
- In 2007, Tony Blair rejected calls for St David's day to become a Welsh national holiday, despite a poll saying that 87% of Welsh people wanted a 1st March holiday.
- A Welsh stew, named Cawl and containing lamb and leeks is traditionally consumed on St David's Day.
- Across Wales on the 1st March St David's Day parades take place, and in bigger cities, food festivals, concerts and street parties also occur.
- 2009 saw the inaugural St David's Day festival in Swansea, a week-long event featuring music, sporting and cultural events.
- Bizarrely, Disney's Mickey and Minnie were turned Welsh last year for the Disneyland Paris St David's Day Welsh Festival.
- St David's Day in Welsh is Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant.
- Despite the fact that St David abstained from Drinking and advised others to do the same, a number of Welsh breweries make special St David's Day ales. Cardiff brewers, Brains describe theirs as "a light, daffodil coloured ale, dry hopped with Styrian Goldings to create a thirst quenching spring ale with a refreshing bite and dry hop aroma".
Another problem I have (and I know that for many this is almost heretical), is with national identities. I have little time for national boundaries, national flags or national anthems. Gordon Brown's "test of Englishness" is anathema to me. We live in a multicultural age, and nationalism in all of its forms tends to provoke disunity and unrest. This may be a simple view, but it's my view. No doubt it will bring forward the cry, "A plague on all your houses".
However, for a few years, Hastings had a Welsh Mayor, and each 1st March he would organise an open afternoon at the Town Hall. There would be welsh cakes, drinks and hymn singing, which I did attend on a couple of occasions. The Mayor was an excellent man, an outspoken Labour Councillor, and a great singer (he was also a member of Opera South East). In spite of some of my comments above, I enjoyed those afternoons very much.
|Miners Institute Rhosllanerchrugog|
The local council, which had purchased the building in 1978, decided in 1985 to demolish the building, but it was thankfully saved as a result of local campaigning. Following fundraising efforts, it was renovated and re-opened as a community theatre (Theatr Stiwt) and is still used today.
The Rhos Male Voice Choir, at its height had 100 members, and the sound they produced ranged from that of a tornado at full throttle, to that of a gentle breeze blowing through grass. Do look them up on YouTube, and if this link doesn't work, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-PI_9dDHCg just search Rhos Male Voice Choir, and in particular play the concert "Music from the Welsh Mines 1957". I love listening to them to this day.
|Male Voice Choir|