Whilst St Valentine’s Day on February 14th is the day celebrated by lovers in most of the UK, here in Wales 25th January is the day for romance.
St Dwynwen’s Day is the Welsh equivalent to the story of St Valentine. According to the tale, Dwynwen, the fairest daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, the King of Wales, fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill. Her father disapproved of the match and refused permission for them to marry, so she ran into the woods and prayed to God to fall out of love with Maelon. God answered her prayers by turning Maelon to ice and also granted Dwynwen three wishes.
Dwynwen’s first wish was to thaw Maelon; her second wish was for the happiness of all lovers and her third that she wouldn’t marry and instead devote herself to God. The remains of the church she founded can be visited on Llanddwyn, an island off Anglesey. Llanddwyn is also the home of her well, where legend has it if a couple visits and the water in the well boils then they are perfectly suited.
Welsh love spoons traditionally were carved and given by a man to his “cariad” as a symbol of their love and this traditional still continues today.
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