By Angharad May
As a Cardiff University student, living in the capital city, I am sure you know who the patron saint of Wales is…Dewi Sant, of course! Or, Saint David in English.
Very little is concretely known about Saint David, but there is evidence to suggest that he came from an aristocratic family in West Wales, and his mother was also a saint, Saint Non. Saint David was highly involved in the church; in the 6th century, he was at the heart of the church in West Wales and spread Christianity among pagan Celtic tribes. Furthermore, he founded a monastery in West Wales and became Archbishop of Wales. One of the most infamous stories that Welsh schoolchildren are told, is that of when Saint David was preaching to a vast crowd, and the ground beneath his feet rose up so that everyone could see him.
Saint David’s Day has been celebrated on the 1st March throughout Wales since the eighteenth century. In primary schools, pupils dress-up in traditional Welsh costumes and often an Eisteddfod is held, involving Welsh singing, folk dancing and poetry recitals. Girls wear a white pinafore, a shawl of Welsh flannel and a tall black hat worn over a white frilled bonnet, whereas boys wear a white shirt, a Welsh flannel waistcoat, short black trousers and long white socks. As well as the above, Saint David’s legacy is his adage which encourages us to “do the little things, the small things you’ve seen me doing.”
The UMCC (Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd) Saint David’s Day celebrations are certainly proving to be doing a lot more than just the little things. On the 26th February between 12pm and 3pm, a whole host of Saint David’s Day related celebrations will be taking place in Y Plas in the Cardiff University Student’s Union. Aelwyd y Waun Ddyfal Choir will be performing, as well as Cadi Gwen. You can get your face decorated by Glitr Gloyw and even try the moreish treats that are Welsh Cakes.
The UMCC is the Welsh Student’s Union which represents Welsh language students in all aspects of their university life. William Rees is UMCC’s current President and he has stated that, “I’m very proud that we are able to celebrate Saint David’s day this year”. William reiterates that, “There will be a welcome to everyone to come along to the celebrations in Y Plas on the 26th February.” Jacob Morris, Welsh Language Campaign Officer, added that it is important to, “celebrate our Welsh culture and our language”, since Saint David’s Day is supposed to be a day to take pride in Welsh identity.
It is vital to embrace students from every corner of the globe in these celebrations. We live in a multicultural world; what better way to showcase each other’s cultures and traditions than with inclusivity and convivial celebrations. Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!
More information about UMVV can be found through following their social media accounts: @UMCC2017 (Twitter); UMCC (Facebook); or contact them via email: [email protected].