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Dydd Santes Dwynwen hapus!

St Dwynwen's Day or 'Dydd Santes Dwynwen' in Welsh, is celebrated in much the same way as Valentine's Day. Each year, on the 25th of January, cards, gifts and messages of love are exchanged in celebration of Saint Dwynwen.

Princess Dwynwen was the beautiful daughter of the king of south Wales. When she was forbidden to marry the man she loved, she ran away and became a nun. She devoted the rest of her life to helping other lovers find happiness.

Dwynwen became the Welsh patron saint of love. She’s celebrated each year on St Dwynwen’s Day, 25 January, the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine’s Day.

Forbidden love turns to fury Dwynwen was said to be the most beautiful and spirited of the 24 daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog, king of south Wales (Brecon). When she was a young woman, she met Maelon Dafodrill, the son of a neighbouring king. The couple fell passionately in love, and planned to spend their lives together. Maelon went to ask the king for Dwynwen’s hand in marriage. But her father refused, saying that he had already arranged a suitable match for her. Maelon was furious, taking out his anger on Dwynwen. Then he left the palace in a rage.

Dwynwen ran away into the woodland, then threw herself to the ground and cried herself to sleep. While she slept, she dreamt a spirit came to her and told her Maelon wouldn’t trouble her further because he’d been turned into a block of ice. The sprit then granted her three wishes.

The kind-hearted Dwynwen told the spirit that her first wish was for Maelon to be thawed. Her second was for true love to always be protected in her name. The third was that she would never again fall in love, nor marry. All three wishes came true. Devoting her life to lovers Dwynwen left home to prevent her father from making her marry for power or greed. She became a nun and travelled Wales, setting up churches and praying for those who were troubled in love. Her final stop was the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey, where the remains of Dwynwen’s church can be seen today.

After Dwynwen’s death, a well was dedicated to her. Some believe that this well is the home of a sacred fish whose movements predict the future for lovers. Others say that the well sometimes boils up, and those who see it will be lucky in love.


Recent years have seen an increase amongst people in Wales celebrating St. Dwynwen's Day by exchanging cards and gifts such as love spoons. Special events such as parties and concerts are also held on the 25th of January, which shows the increasing popularity of celebrating St. Dwynwen's Day amongst the Welsh.


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