Sunday 25 January 2015

Dydd Santes Dwynwen

If your last name in Jones, Williams, Davies, Evans or Thomas OR you had a traumatic encounter with a huge man in a kilt after a rugby match (*) you may not feel like celebrating Burns Night this evening with neeps & tatties or in any fashion at all.  Those five surnames take up 18% of the Welsh telephone directory. Today is Sant Dwynwen's day the patron saint of lovers.  There is no evidence that she or her bloke Maelon Dafodrill existed - legends about them emerge from the dark ages fully formed and embellished with imaginative detail; not all of it lovely. She may have hailed from Angelsey where the ferry leaves for Dublin and Dun Laoghaire and may have been a princess. The celebration of the day has been given a boost these last 10 or 15 years by Bwrdd Yr Iaith (Welsh Language Board) and you can now buy cards in the Principality to send to your inamorata.  Now you know me, I'm all for increasing the cultural diversity of this our over-burdened planet but does it always have to be monetised?  I get a particular bee in my bonnet about Father's Day in the middle of June, partly because it often eclipses my birthday, but mainly because it is a totally artificial modern concoction with far less tradition than Mothering Sunday.  Make that zero tradition beyond a board meeting at Hallmark Cards a couple of generations ago.  Few people know about the Roman soldier called Atrium Marcus who is the patron saint of gougers who'd like to make a fast buck out of a gullible public.

But I would encourge you all today, from Kinsale to Kiev, to turn to your mate and try "Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus" but possibly not while eating breakfast, hmmm? a spray of chewed toast is not going to help your case.  But b'god the Welsh can sing!

(*) Q. Is there anything worn under the kilt?
      A. No, it is all in perfect working orrrder.

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