While the shops are filling their shelves with fluffy pink hearts and cherubs in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, more and more welsh traditionalists are excited about St Dwynwen’s day.
The patron saint of lovers, Dwynwen whose name means “she who leads a blessed life”, is feted on January 25th. Although she is no longer officially recognised by the Vatican, she still enjoys great popularity in her home county of Anglesey, and St Dwynwen’s day continues to grow in popularity across Wales.
Dwynwen’s Bad Romance
The most beautiful of King Brychan Brycheiniog’s daughters, Dwynwen is said to have lived in Anglesey in the 5th century. There are several stories told as to how she became the patron saint of lovers – some less family-friendly than others – but all the stories seem to agree that after a pretty disastrous relationship with a man called Maelon Dafodrill, Dwynwen fled to the forest, where she was visited by an angel who granted her wishes that she should never marry, and that God should look kindly on the dreams of all true lovers.
Dwynwen spent the rest of her life on Anglesey, founding a convent on Llanddwyn Island. It became so popular as a place of pilgrimage that a new church was built on the site in Tudor times, the remains of which can still be seen on the island today. The Psychic Fish?
In a tradition which perhaps blends Christian and pagan traditions, it was once said that a visit to the Llandwynn Island church well could predict the future of a love affair. Tradition said that if the movements of the fish in the church’s well caused the water to move so much that it appears to boil, a happy-ever-after was guaranteed. Women who suspected their husbands of infidelity would sprinkle breadcrumbs on the surface of the water and cover them with a handkerchief – if the fish caused the handkerchief to move, the husband had been proved faithful.
(Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus)
Created for you here is a gorgeous St Dwynwen’s day card that you can download, print and send to your true love/crush…
Download a printable PDF St. Dwynwen’s day card:
http://bit.ly/gL7vlD So, how best to celebrate Dydd Santes Dywnwen? Forget about the overpriced and faintly sinister-looking Valentine themed teddy bears and cliched red roses, and treat your loved one to a weekend up in St Dwynwen’s home of Anglesey? Take a bracing walk along the Blue Flag beach and cwtch up on the sand dunes, or wander through the National Nature Reserve of Newborough Warren. (Angels not guaranteed. Sick-bucket not included). (Thanks to www.visitwales.co.uk)