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A Day for the Dragon: Celebrating St. David’s Day at Cardiff University

28 February 2024
Photo by balesphotography on Unsplash
Photo by balesphotography on Unsplash

Hey there, future and current Cardiff Uni students! As we shed our winter layers and the Welsh air hints at spring, there’s a certain buzz on campus that’s hard to miss. It’s all about gearing up for a day that’s a big deal around here – St. David’s Day. Come March 1st, we’re all about honouring our patron saint, St. David, and really getting into the swing of Welsh culture. Whether you’ve been part of this tradition forever or it’s your first time, St. David’s Day at Cardiff is an experience loaded with culture and heart. So, what do we do to get into the festive spirit? Let’s take a walk through the ways we can all dive into this cultural shindig.

Flying the Welsh Flag High

Kicking off our St. David’s Day celebration, flying the Welsh flag is more than a display of national pride—it’s a declaration of our collective spirit and unity. This simple act connects us to centuries of Welsh history and culture. Whether it’s a small flag pinned to your bag or a massive one across your dorm, each flutter is a testament to our shared identity and resilience. Let’s paint the town red, green, and white, showing off our pride for everyone to see.

Embrace the Leek (or Daffodil)

On St. David’s Day, donning a leek or daffodil isn’t just about following tradition—it’s about embracing a symbol of Welsh identity. These emblems, steeped in history, offer a unique way to connect with Wales’ past and present. Wearing a daffodil or sporting a leek badge is a conversation starter, a way to share stories and meanings behind these symbols. It’s a fun, lighthearted tradition that bonds us, sparking curiosity and conversations among students and faculty alike. So, whether you prefer the bright cheerfulness of a daffodil or the historical significance of a leek, wearing one is a small gesture with big meaning.

Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

Spread the Love with a Cwtsh

A cwtsh is not just any hug; it’s a Welsh embrace that symbolizes warmth, affection, and community. On this day, sharing a cwtsh is more than a physical act—it’s a way to strengthen bonds, convey empathy, and spread kindness throughout the Cardiff Uni community. It’s a reminder that, amidst our studies and daily routines, taking a moment to show care and support for one another can make a big difference. So, let’s make St. David’s Day a day of heartfelt cwtshes, bringing smiles and comfort to those around us.

Crafting and Gifting Love Spoons

The Welsh love spoon is a beautiful tradition, embodying craftsmanship, affection, and artistic expression. These intricately carved wooden spoons are not just decorative items; they’re tokens of love and friendship. Crafting or gifting a love spoon on St. David’s Day is a way to connect with an ancient Welsh custom while offering something personal and heartfelt. Whether you’re skilled with a carving knife or prefer to appreciate the artistry of others, sharing a love spoon is a meaningful gesture that transcends the ordinary, weaving a thread of continuity with the past.

PS: You can visit Wales’ oldest love spoon at St Fagans, or fall in love with Ceini Spiller’s modern take on the Welsh love spoon.

Learn and Share a Few Welsh Phrases

Integrating Welsh phrases into your day is not just about language acquisition; it’s about cultural immersion and identity. On St. David’s Day, challenge yourself and others to use Welsh greetings, toasts, and expressions. This act of sharing language fosters a sense of community and belonging, highlighting the importance of Wales’ linguistic heritage. It’s a fun, inclusive way to celebrate our culture, inviting everyone to partake in the richness of the Welsh language, even if it’s just a few words.

Treat a David

Finding someone named David and celebrating them on St. David’s Day is a quirky, yet heartwarming tradition that adds a personal touch to the festivities. It’s a way of acknowledging the significance of the day while bringing joy to someone’s life. This small act of kindness and recognition can spark new friendships and strengthen existing ones, embodying the spirit of community and shared celebration.

Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok on Unsplash

Gift Daffodils

Gifting daffodils on St. David’s Day is a vibrant way to spread joy and springtime cheer. These bright, sunny flowers symbolize new beginnings and the resilience of the Welsh spirit. Handing out daffodils to friends, colleagues, and even strangers not only brightens their day but also reinforces our connection to Welsh traditions and the natural beauty of our country.

Wear Welsh with Pride

St. David’s Day is the perfect opportunity to showcase your Welsh pride through your attire. From traditional Welsh costumes to modern interpretations featuring the national colors, dressing up is a festive way to express your identity and celebrate our heritage. It’s a visual feast that unites us in a shared display of pride, inviting everyone to explore and appreciate the diversity of Welsh culture!

Groove to Welsh Music

Music is a cornerstone of Welsh culture, and St. David’s Day is the ideal time to immerse yourself in its sounds. From haunting folk melodies to the vibrant beats of contemporary Welsh bands, let the music envelop you. Organizing a playlist or attending a live performance can be a profound way to connect with the soul of Wales, celebrating our rich musical heritage and its role in our cultural identity!

Photo by Llio Angharad on Unsplash

Savour Welsh Delicacies

Indulging in Welsh cuisine is a delicious way to celebrate St. David’s Day. From the savory goodness of rarebit and cawl to the sweet delight of Welsh cakes, the flavors of Wales are a testament to our culinary heritage. Organizing a tasting session or cooking together can be a communal and joyful way to explore these traditional dishes, creating new memories and honoring old traditions.