Today, the 1st March 2017 marks many points of calendar interest.
Firstly, March 1st is St David’s day, the patron saint of Wales. He is remembered by the wearing of a daffodil. However for many centuries the leek was regarded as the national emblem. But Why?
Well glad you asked. St David is supposed to have won a great battle and ordered his soldiers to wear leeks as distinguishing marks.
The daffodil, or Lent lily, is probably related to the lily of France, for Welsh soldiers are believed to have brought it home after fighting the French battles of Henry V.
Also Welsh for leek = cennin and for daffodil = cennin Pedr … extremely close in spelling and sound.
Secondly March 1st of 2017 is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Some people may still follow the custom of ‘giving up certain foods’ during the Lent period.
Lent comes from the Saxon word ‘lencten‘ because the days of Spring are now ‘lengthening‘. The days are getting longer, we have more natural light!
The ‘Ash‘ refers to the ash from the palms of the previous year’s Palm Sunday. At church Lent starts with the marking of a cross with a finger dipped in ashes on the forehead of those attending.
It is important to remind ourselves, whether we partake or not, of the historical and religious connections of these named-day diary events…“Just in case you come tête-à-tête with a daffy!”
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