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Dydd Santes Dwynwen, or St Dwynwen’s Day, is celebrated across Wales every January 25th and is considered to be Wales’ very own, charming version of St Valentine’s Day.
Fall in love with the 5th-century tale of St Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, and look forward to celebrating this unique day with your loved ones.
Read on to discover more about Welsh Valentine’s Day…
Dwynwen was believed to be the daughter of King Brychan Brycheiniog and lived during the 5th century.
She was unlucky in love, so became a nun and prayed for true lovers to have better luck than she did.
Today, she is celebrated as the Welsh patron saint of lovers, which makes her the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine.
Legend has it that Dwynwen was the prettiest of the king’s 24 daughters and lived on the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales. She fell in love with a local boy called Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had arranged for her to marry someone else, a prince.
The tale continues to suggest that Maelon took the news badly, so Dwynwen fled to the woods to beg God to make her forget him. That night, a distraught Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who gave her a potion to erase her memory and turn Maelon into a block of ice.
Dwynwen then devoted her life to God and founded a convent on Llanddwyn, a small island off the west coast of Anglesey.
St Dwynwen’s Day (Dydd Santes Dwynwen in Welsh) is celebrated in Wales on 25th January every year.
The day is similar to Valentine’s Day, where cards and gifts are exchanged and valuable time is spent with loved ones. Traditionally, a Welsh love spoon is given as a St Dwynwen’s day gift.
The word Llanddwyn translates as ‘The church of St. Dwynwen‘, and was the home of the patron saint for many years.
This truly majestic island can be found at the end of the glorious Newborough Beach, which is attached to the mainland and can only be reached by foot.
As well as the ruins of Llanddwyn Chapel, Llanddwyn Island is home to Tŵr Mawr Lighthouse and a number of cottages which were built to house those who guided ships into the Menai Strait.
There is also a wealth of natural history and wildlife to be found on this island and is part of the Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve. Visitors to this island may catch a glimpse of a variety of nesting birds, including cormorants and oystercatchers, while the dunes, mudflats and salt marshes play host to a wide range of plants and invertebrates.
If you are looking to celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day with a loved one this year, why not book of one our cottages in Wales? Or if you have visited the beautiful island of Llanddwyn, share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
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