Welsh Holidays

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Welsh Holidays

The Roman Catholic faith has played a large part in Wales for the last millennia, and many Welsh holidays come from Catholic holidays. Besides Christmas and Easter, the most important Welsh Holiday is Saint David’s Day, which takes place every March 1st. Saint David lived in the 6th century. He was a famous scholar and teacher who set up monasteries and churches throughout Wales. He also was said to have performed miracle. It is said that once he was giving a speech and the land around him rose up to form a hill.

Saint David has become much more than a religious figure; he is a symbol of the strength of the Welsh people. A famous old Welsh poem dreams of a day when the Welsh and other Celtic peoples will unite under the banner of Saint David to cast off British rule. To this day, the holiday is used as a celebration of Welsh culture. People around the country dress in traditional Welsh clothing and play traditional music and games. School children sing traditional songs at concerts called “Eisteddfodau.” At nighttime it is common to have a big dinner with the entire family.

Wales also celebrates many seasonal feasts. The most important one is called Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau, of Festival of the Candles. It is equivalent to Candlemas which is celebrated throughout Europe in different ways. On Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau churches give out candles and people lead processions around their town. As Wales is a Celtic nation, the summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes are also celebrated with feasting, fairs, and dinners by many families.

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