Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Happy St David’s Day!

WITH the winter months finally behind us, Aberystwyth welcomed the start of spring by celebrating their patriotic Saint (Saint David, or as the Welsh say, Dewi Saint). St David is most famous for his contribution to religion, it is also worth noting that he was responsible for some of the unique superstitions of Wales.

1972415_297548667064083_318647604_nAccording to the rumour, when David died, he asked God to allow the Welsh to have foresight of their death. That is the origin of the belief in the ‘corpse candle’, a ghostly light which is often seen to warn of a death in the area. Miracles are another phenomenon associated with the Saints. The most famous associated with David was when he created a hill in Llanddewi Brefi so that the crowd that had gathered could see and hear him.

The Saint David’s parade is an annual tradition that only started last year, thanks to the financial support from the Big Lottery Fund, and commenced at 1pm today starting from by the clock tower.  The parade was led by a the patriotic sounds of Welsh folk music and the welsh bag pipes which directed the Mayor, the guest of honours, Côr Meibion Aberystwyth, school children and society members of Aberystwyth town centre. The entire parade marched its way through the town and stopped at the sea front outside Ambassadors, where an eyewitness described it as ‘a sea of red, yellow and green’.

A large crowd gathered, many were carrying the welsh flag; young children were dressed in traditional Welsh outfits whilst the adults proudly wore the symbols of Wales, the Leek and Daffodil. The celebration continued where a prayer was made for St. David, a Welsh folk dance was performance by two students from Ysgol Penweddig, Aberystwyth, and a recital from the Aberystwyth Male Choir.

549083_297548780397405_1871033282_nThe final feature of the event was a lively, uplifting, enjoyable performance from a welsh band from Ystradgynlais, South Wales called ‘Y Plebs’. They sang two famous, well known welsh folk songs called ‘A lan y môr’ and ‘Sosban Fach’. These were crowd pleasers, and many people in the crowd sung and clapped along. The celebration closed with the Welsh national anthem.

The St David’s day celebration continued throughout the day at the Welsh pub Yr Lew Du on Bridge Street, where ‘Yr Plebs’ were also performing. The entire afternoon captured the essence of Welsh culture at its best. People from and outside of Aberystwyth joined together as a community to celebrate the Welsh culture, and young children got into the spirit by dressing up in the national welsh costumes.

The University will continue to celebrate St David and Welsh culture up until the 7th March.

On Monday 3rd of March, the 9 part series of Pen Talar, the Welsh language tv series which follows the epic journey of two friends and the story of the Welsh nation over half a century, from the early 60s, will be screened in the Students’ Union.  This stars Richard Harrington, and English subtitles will be provided.

On Tuesday 4th March, the Welsh Student Union UMCA will host a special St David’s Day gig showcasing young Welsh bands at the Students’ Union.

On Thursday 6th there will be an opportunity to meet for coffee and enjoy a conversation in Welsh at the Arts Centre, and the week’s celebrations will conclude with an evening of cawl and music on Friday 7 March at the Students’ Union.

A special selection of Welsh food and delicacies will also be available during the week in the restaurants and cafes across Penglais Campus.