Saint Dwynwen's Day in Wales Date in the current year: January 25, 2016

Saint Dwynwen's Day in Wales While most people celebrate Valentine's Day, the Welsh have their own equivalent of this holiday. On January 25, they celebrate Saint Dwynwen's Day (Dydd Santes Dwynwen). Saint Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of love and lovers.

According to legend, Dwynwen was a daughter of the legendary king Brychan Brycheiniog. She fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill. He loved her back, but they couldn't be together for an undetermined reason, which varies in different versions of the legend.

Dwynwen prayed to fall out of love with Maelon. In response to her prayers, an angel visited her and gave her a potion designed to make her forget Maelon and turn him into ice. Dwynwen was also granted three wishes. She wished that Maelon be thawed; that God look after true lovers; and that she never marry.

Although Saint Dwynwen (just like Saint Valentine) is not longer recognized by the Vatican as an official saint, she still enjoys great popularity across Wales. Saint Dwynwen's Day has become more popular in recent years. It is celebrated with parties, concerts, and other events. It is customary to exchange greeting cards.

The traditional courting gift given on Saint Dwynwen's Day is a carved wooden spoon. Originally, young people made such spoons themselves, but now gift shops offer a great variety of Welsh love spoons – both traditional wooden ones and chocolate spoons.

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Saint Dwynwen's Day in Wales, Welsh holiday, folk festival, Dydd Santes Dwynwen, patron saint of love