ON the 25th of January each year, people all over Wales celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day, the traditional Welsh equivalent of Valentine’s Day but much sooner. Why wait until Valentine’s Day when you can celebrate the Welsh way?
The story behind St Dwynwen’s Day?
St Dwynwen was the Welsh Patron Saint of love, who came from Anglesey. Dwynwen means “she who leads a blessed life”. During the 5th Century, she fell in love a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, however her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else. Being so upset that she couldn’t marry the man that she loved, she begged god that she could instantly forget him. God sent Dwynwen an angel carrying a potion to make her forget and said that Maelon would turn into a block of ice. God then gave Dwynwen three wishes. She wished that Maelon would be thawed, that god meets the hopes and dreams of true lovers, and third that she should never marry. God granted Dwynwen her wishes and as a mark of gratefulness she devoted herself to god’s service for the rest of her life.
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Santes Dwynwen’s church can be found on the tiny island of Llanddwyn, off the West Coast of Anglesey. You can visit it when the tide allows you to do so. The convent on the island remains today along with St Dwynwen’s Well.
A Traditional Gift?
Traditionally you would give someone a wooden Welsh love spoon on St Dwynwen’s Day, but we’re aware that it’s the 21st Century and that a wooden spoon may not be a feasible mark of love anymore. Personally I know plenty of ladies who’d prefer something small & expensive that sparkles!
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