Today is the 1st March, which means one thing for us in Wales, St David’s Day!
This date commemorates the death of Dewi Sant, a Welsh bishop of Menevia who spread the word of Christianity around Wales and later became the Patron Saint of Wales.
On this day every year, the Welsh come together to celebrate their wonderful nation, wearing traditional dress, eating traditional food and taking part in Welsh events.
Nowhere is St David’s day celebrated more than in schools across Wales. Students ditch their school uniforms in place of traditional Welsh costumes. Girls dress in a white blouse with a red or black skirt, underneath a white or hounds tooth pinafore with a red checked shawl and a black bonnet. Boys would traditionally wear a red checked waistcoat and bow tie, however it is now more common to see boys wearing Welsh rugby shirts on St David’s day.
There are two main national emblems of Wales; leeks and daffodils, both of which can be seen all around Wales on and around St David’s day, worn in people’s button holes on coats and jackets.
We also celebrate traditional Welsh cuisine, which includes Welsh cakes (small round ‘scone-like’ cakes containing dried fruit and covered in sugar), Cawl (a Welsh stew made with either fish or meat and vegetables) and Welsh rarebit (toast topped with cheddar cheese sauce). If you fancy trying your hand at some of these delights, click here for some traditional Welsh recipes.
While most of us in the office have been celebrating St David’s day this week, our resident Andaluza has been reminiscing about her homeland and the celebrations which took place yesterday for Andalucia’s national day, Día de Andalucía.
Día de Andalucía is celebrated each year on 28th February and commemorates the day in 1980 when Andalucía gained status as an autonomous community of Spain.
On this day schools and many businesses close for Andaluces to spend time with family and friends. Andalucian flags are hung on balconies all around the region and people gather together to enjoy a family meal. Performances are put on for children in many Andalucian cities and the regional anthem, La Bandera Blanca y Verde, is sung.
When you think of Andalucia the image which usually comes to mind is Moorish architecture and bright sunshine, however this year, Día de Andalucía was celebrated under a blanket of snow, making the day even more special for Andaluces.
Whatever your plans for St David’s day or Día de Andalucía, we hope you enjoy.
Happy St David’s Day y Feliz día de Andalucía!