Some years are barren and in others, abundant. Daffodils. But whether they are growing naturally or are of the paper variety, there is no avoiding them on 1 March in Britain. These lovely spring flowers of eternal cheeriness and hope are the national flower of Wales, 1 March being Saint David's Day, the Patron Saint of Wales.
This day is a triple celebration for me personally. I love Wales, the little principality of the United Kingdom, and Saint David is one of my favourite saints. Of course, daffodils are one of my favourite flowers and we know the winter is over when they show their bright heads. Oh, make that four things. The place of Saint David's Cathedral is Britain's smallest city, which also happens to be my favourite city. It's called...Saint David's.
At the time of David's life, in the sixth century, Saint David's was known as Menevia and David (or Dewi in Welsh) was the bishop there. He was nicknamed 'water drinker' because he ate a simple diet of vegetables and bread and probably drank no ale. Unusual for folk back then. Besides being the patron saint of Wales, David is also the patron of vegetarians. It is written that he refused his monks the use of oxen to pull the plough on the monastery farm. He said that "every man is his own ox" demonstrating a kindness to animals. Statues of him often depict a dove on his shoulder.
Saint David was a real person, which is good because so many saints have little evidence to support their existence. However, there are several legends surrounding him:
David died on 1 March 589 and was recognised as a saint by Pope Callixtus in 1120.
Although I am not Welsh (my mother-in-law is) I always celebrate Saint David's Day by filling my home with daffodils and eating Welsh cakes. My daughter studied at a Welsh university, Aberystwyth. I visited her often.
Happy Saint David's Day.