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Saint David's Day

Authored by Katherine Waite
Published on 1st March, 2023 1 min read

Saint David's Day

A picture of leeks and daffodils laid over the Welsh flag.

Saint David's Day, or the Feast of Saint David, is a celebration of the patron saint of Wales. It is commemorated on the anniversary of the date of Saint David's death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century, by Pope Callixtus II.

Many of the traditional tales about David are found in the hagiography Buchedd Dewi, or the "Life of David", written by Rhygyfarch in the late 11th century. According to legend David performed several miracles throughout his life, including restoring the sight of a blind man. David was a missionary who travelled throughout Britain and founded twelve monasteries, he even made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Observers mark the occasion by wearing daffodils and leeks, recognised symbols of Wales and Saint David respectively. The leek became a symbol of St David when he advised his soldiers to wear leeks into battle with the Saxons, to enable them to differentiate between friendly and enemy troops. Parades are held in the major cities of Wales, including Aberwyswth, Cardiff, and Swansea. People eat customary Welsh food and women are encouraged to wear traditional dress.

BOA would like to wish everyone who is celebrating a Happy St David's Day.

Authored by Katherine Waite

Katherine Waite

Katherine Waite is Head of Publishing at British Online Archives. Katherine studied History at Newcastle University, graduating in 2016. She has worked in the editorial and content teams at British Online Archives. As Head of Publishing she is currently working on curating a collection on the history of pandemic disease in the United Kingdom.

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Notable Days


The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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