St David’s Day is celebrated every year on March 1st when the people of Wales celebrate their patron saint, St David, known as Dewi Sant in Welsh. St David is typically depicted holding a dove, and often standing on a hillock. His symbol is the leek.
A Welsh stew, named Cawl and containing lamb and leeks, is traditionally consumed on St David’s Day and across Wales on March 1 St David’s Day parades take place, and in bigger cities food festivals, concerts and street parties also occur.
David was born in Caerfai in Pembrokshire, Wales around 500 AD and was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans.
He founded around 12 monastaries in his lifetime which were known for their extreme asceticism, where monks abstained from worldly pleasures, living on a diet of bread, vegetables, water and milk.
St David is also known for performing miracles, perhaps the most famous miracles was when he was preaching to a large crowd at the Synod of Brefi and raised the ground beneath him into a hill so his sermon could be heard by all and then restored the sight of his tutor, St Paulinus.
St David also survived after eating bread poisoned by monks at his monastary who had tired of their life of austerity. In medieval times, St David was thought to be related to King Arthur.
St David has been patron saint of Wales since the 12th century – he was canonised by Pope Callixtus in 1120.