Face it Welshies, Saint David’s Day is rubbish
Coming up short in the national patron stakes since 588 AD
There are certain things the Welsh do very well — singing, inter-city rivalry, and sitcoms — and there are certain things the Welsh are less good at: staying dry, beating England, and patron saints.
Saint David’s Day is the one day of the year, or one of the many if you include any sporting occasion, where the good people of Wales can flout their daffodils in public without so much as a second glance from the local constabulary. What’s more, this is a national symbol of pride for over three million people.
And yet, it’s almost always the case that the rest of the world just doesn’t get Welsh symbols of national pride. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in this country, but you can drop the language, the weather, and indeed the Prince of Wales (he’s one, right?) into this box. However, Saint David’s Day is the weakest of these traditions.
Let’s face it, the man himself was basically just a Religious Studies teacher (Wikipedia 2015). And the day itself? All the plastic daffodils and inflated sheep you can hold, followed a feast of Faggots to be washed down with Brains. That can be a fun day, if it’s not pissing it down — but it will be.
Granted, this doesn’t actually make me angry. Back in the 17th Century the English would go as far as to lynch effigies of Welsh people on March 1st as a counter-celebration (ibid.), and I would be getting some real funny looks doing that on Queen Street at this time of year.
To be honest, as an Englishman I just don’t really get patron saints. Our own, Saint George fought a dragon or something and is pretty much just remembered by the Queen and some Scouts. In fact, there is one I do like: Saint Patrick’s Day.
Give me Guinness over Brains, green over red, and clovers over daffodils any day of the week. The Irish know how to do it. So well, as it happens, the whole world joins in. David can generate a hardy bunch of celebrations on the Gower but Paddy can bring the whole world out to play.
So, the Welsh may enjoy the celebrations this Sunday, but the rest of us will be warming up for Saint Paddy’s big bash on March 17th. Get me a pint o’gat.