Dydd Santes Dwynwen / 25th January
How did St Dwynwen become the Welsh patron saint of lovers?
Dwynwen was the prettiest of King Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. She fell in love with a local lad called Maelon Dafodrill, but King Brychan had already arranged for her to marry another prince. Maelon took the news badly, so the distraught Dwynwen fled to the woods to weep, and begged God to help her. She was visited by an angel who gave her a sweet potion to help her forget Maelon, which happened to turn him into a block of ice.
God then granted Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second wish was for God to help all true lovers; her third wish was that she would never marry. In gratitude, Dwynwen became a nun and set up a convent on Llanddwyn Island, a beautiful little spot on Anglesey. Her name means, ‘she who leads a blessed life’.
What happens on St Dwynwen’s Day?
It’s just like Valentine’s Day, it is positioned as the most romantic day of the year in Wales. We exchange cards, flowers and gifts, take time out, have special meals with our loved ones… some may go as far as to take long walks on deserted beaches, carve lovespoons, cwtch up in front of a roaring log fire and all that romantic fuzziness.
*Information sourced from Visit Wales