Ideas for St David's Day

14 February 2011

St Davids Day Crafts 1As this appears on the 14th of February, I should have perhaps written one last Valentine's feature. But I don't think there's anything we haven't covered in the last few weeks! Time instead to start preparing for the next big date in the diary. St David's Day.

A wise choice you might be saying. Or, if you're not Welsh or of Welsh descent, you may be thinking, what is St David's Day to me? Well, that's the point. It should mean something to everyone as Wales is part of the UK. And it is a good opportunity for the children do some themed crafts and learn a little about Great Britain as a whole.

Which brings me to another point entirely. A problem that I first came across last St George's Day. How do you explain to a five year old that the country they live in is England, and er, Great Britain, and oh there's also the United Kingdom. Answers in the comments please!

St David's Day is celebrated on the 1st of March, so you have two weeks. Dewi Sant, as he is properly known, is the patron saint of Wales. Unlike St George, he was born in the country he looks after, and after a lot of wandering around (this includes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem) settled in South West Wales.

daffodil2

Daffodils

It is traditional for a daffodil or leek to be worn on the 1st of March. It is that time of the year when the little yellow flowers are poking their tubular heads out at the world. Daffodils can be quite prolific, so it is entirely possible you've some popping up in the garden even if you haven't planted them. You could also go find some growing wild and take the children out flower picking. Make sure that the land is not owned by anyone (including the council). And don't pick more than you need.

Or you could make your own daffodils. This is a lovely craft project to do and my favourite is to use the cups from an egg carton. For some clear photos and instructions, check out this craft activity here.

Make a Flag

PDSK091103RADRhysIfans2It is also traditional to fly the Y Ddraig Goch or St David's Cross. Although if like me you don't have a flagpole on your house, you could just put it on the window or the wall in the kitchen. This is easy to do, as the St David's Cross is a gold cross on a black flag. You could also make a Flag of Wales, the official flag, which might be a bit more interesting for the children as it has a dragon on there. Always a winner for my son at any rate!

According to Wikipedia this is known as Baner Cymru or Y Ddraig Goch in Welsh and means The Red Dragon. I'm willing to stand corrected on this by any Welsh folks if that's wrong. I'm not up to drawing complicated dragons, so a printable is a good alternative. There's one here on eParenting that you can have printed out for colouring in. To find out what colours you'll need, have a look here.

Food

Looking up recipes for St David's Day was a bit of a surprise for me. I had no idea how little I knew about Welsh traditions. Sure there's Welsh Rarebit and lamb on the menu for the day. But there's also laver bread (bara lawr), for breakfast with eggs and bacon. And Bara Brith cake for tea. Laver bread is made up of laverbread, which is seaweed you can buy tinned or fresh (or collect from the seashore yourself), and oatmeal. A sort of seaweed pancake.

I found this laver bread recipe - scroll down the page for the English translation.

Welsh cakeThe Bara Brith cake sounds fantastic. I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food guide. I don't think I've ever made a cake that contains a cup of tea. The mix needs to be soaked overnight so keep that in mind if you're planning on making one.

If neither of those sounds like something the kids will eat, then try a leek soup, or Cawl Cennin. There's a traditional recipe on BBC Mid Wales here.

More Activities

If you're looking for something else to do, there's printable colouring sheets with a St David's Day theme here. And some more sheets on Netmums here.

Over at the Crayola website there's an interesting leek and daffodil bouquet craft.

And finally, make your own Welsh dragon! The Visit Wales site has an excellent template you can print out, and cut out to make into a dragon.

Bouquet

6 comments

  • Naomi M.
    There are plenty of adults who struggle with the concept of the United Kingdom, Great Britain etc, let alone children. I remember being on a flight to the States from Wales (and that's another story!) and the Welsh contingent being very confused about what they should put for their nationality on the visa form - Welsh or British.
  • Lynley O.
    that reminds me of a very long, and slightly confusing, conversation I had with a young American lad once who couldn't understand what was wrong with the statement "If I was Scottish I'd wouldn't support the British in the Olympic games"! I wonder if they would accept it if you did write Welsh, or English, instead of British?
  • Chris F.
    It depends - some nationality forms do not accept "English" one must be "British". As to explaining, it is akin to saying that if one lived in Utah one is American, not all Yanks however live in Utah. The GB/UK dichotomy, who uses UK? British yes not Kingdomese! Latest news is that our nationality is "European Union" look at your passport, it is E.U and THEN Irish/Polish/whatever. Finally that Welsh flag in Black looks like the Cornish one!
  • Lynley O.
    The Cornish flag is silver on black, not yellow. I think the black background on both is for the same reason, but I could be wrong! Something Celtic maybe?
  • sho
    British History for Dummies has a great explanation of why we say Great Britain and UK etc etc. As far as I know the only people who say "the UK" are expats... Thanks for the reminder about St David's day, I have to get out the wooden daffodills I made which are plywood with little plant pots for the bell part.
  • Lynley O.
    Go for it! Daffodils are always good. How do you make them?

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