Happy St David's day
When I was a child, my favourite days of the year, in order, were:
1) Christmas Day 2) My birthday 3) St David's Day
The first two are obvious of course - they involve presents! But the third, St David's day, might surprise you.
For those who don't know, St David's Day is is the feast day of the patron saint of Wales and every year on March 1st, we celebrate. I think one of the reasons the day even now gives me a shiver of pleasure is that, as a Welsh child, it was a half-day at school. The afternoon was spent visiting older relatives to show them what we looked like in our Welsh costume followed by singing a song for them.
Girls traditionally wear a heavy flannel skirt in dark red, blue, black and white, a shawl, an apron, a daffodil and a welsh hat (known in the area that I come from as a 'cockle hat'). Boys normally just wear a leek pinned to their shirt. My daughter, Elizabeth, is demonstrating a Welsh costume in the photo.
You didn't really get any material gifts from the day (apart from delicious Welsh cakes), but what you did get was to see lots of family and that's something that I remember really loving.
I left Wales 20 years ago but most of my family still live in Swansea so, even though I married an Englishman and both my children were born in London, I really like to make St David's Day a big deal in my household. My children both wear their Welsh costumes just as I did. I haven't dared ask to take my son home from school at 12pm but I did send in toy leeks and daffodils for him to give to his (probably rather confused) friends. And of course, this Sunday, my extended family are all invited for a traditional St David's Day lunch so that the children can show off to their relatives as I remember doing so long ago.
It doesn't matter if it's a national special occasion, a family birthday or just an excuse to just get the families together, it's always a wonderful learning experience for children to spend time with different generations and celebrate. What's more, I hope that these events are something that they'll remember forever.
Happy St David's Day, everyone!