Love — the Welsh Way

Folklore, Lifestyle / Monday, January 15th, 2018

Is that love in the air?

If you’re in Wales, and it’s January 25th, it most certainly is, because it’s St Dwynwen’s Day.  Here’s your complete guide to lovin’, the Welsh way.

Who Was St Dwynwen?

Dwynwen was a princess in the fourth century (so, late Roman Britain), the fifth of twenty-four daughters of the very hard-working old goat, Brychan Brycheiniog, who lived in what is now the Brecon Beacons national park.

Dwywen fell in love with the handsome, the gallant, thoroughly virile sex bomb, Maelog Dafodrill.  Unfortunately, her father had already promised her hand in marriage, so Dwynwen prayed to be relieved of all her filthy fantasies.

An angel appeared and offered her a potion, which, while it seems to have taken care of the filthy fantasies, also had the awkward side effect of turning Maelog into a block of ice, which was not what Dwynwen had in mind at all.  Happily, following further prayer, God decided to rectify the angel’s incompetence by offering Dwynwen three wishes.

Dwynwen’s first wish: to thaw poor Maelog out; following which, he doubtless kept his distance.  Talk about putting the fear of God into somebody.

Dwynwen’s second wish: that God help all future lovers.

Dwynwen’s third wish: that she be blessed with spinsterhood and eternal virginity.  Thus looking forward to a life unburdened by all that complicated romance and tiresome sexy stuff, off she went to found a convent on Llanddwyn Island, a pretty promontory off Anglesey, which is only an island at high tide.  The remains of a chapel dedicated to St Dwynwen still exist.

St Dwynwen’s chapel, Llanddwyn Island

So What do the Welsh do on St Dwynwen’s Day?

What does anybody do on Valentine’s Day?  Hold hands on long walks, candlelit dinners while gazing into one another’s eyes, whispering sweet nothings, watching slushy movies together while wearing one’s nicest underwear; skimpy, silky thongs in scarlet with a little black lace on the edges … sorry, getting carried away there.

Anyway, that’s what we do on Dwynwen’s Day, but with a Welsh accent.  And with Love Spoons.

Love Spoons?

Sure.  When you love somebody in Wales, you give them a spoon.  Not just any spoon, mind, and certainly nothing made from aluminium, pounded out on a press in China.  Love spoons are wooden, and richly carved with symbolic images.

Does Everybody in Wales Celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day?

No.  But it is becoming increasingly popular, especially among Welsh speakers.  Absolutely, feel free to surprise your other half with a lush weekend in some wildly romantic hotel, or make a lovely dinner, or pack the kids off to bed early and settle down with a glass of wine and a cwtch, and a chick flick.  Just don’t forget the silky underwear.

As for you — will you be doing something special on St Dwynwen’s day?  Tell us what in the comments below!

2 Replies to “Love — the Welsh Way”

  1. Those look amazing Nathan. I’ll remember that for next year–or, I suppose I could be predictable and use them on Valentines too. 😉

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