We've created a handy guide of all things Welsh and Wales related...
Love spoon (Llwy Garu)
The giving and receiving of love spoons between lovers, friends and family is a Welsh custom that dates back to the 17th century. Specific carving on the spoon is symbolic, e.g. a chain symbolises loyalty, a lock is a promise of security, and a Celtic knot denotes eternal love. Today, the love spoon is a special way to celebrate a wedding, an anniversary, an engagement or to say thank you.
Daffodil (Cennin Pedr)
The daffodil is the national flower of Wales. It flowers in early spring to coincide with St David’s Day on the1st of March and is seen as a symbol of nature’s optimism. Daffodils are grown commercially in mid Wales to produce galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Leeks are alliums, a root vegetablefrom the same family as garlic, chives, shallots, and onions. They have asweet, oniony flavour that adds depth to soups, stews, pastas, and more. The leek is now widely recognised as the national symbol of Wales and was cited as a symbol of Wales in William Shakespeare’s Henry V.
Welshcakes (Pice ar y Maen)
Welshcakes are a traditional sweet bread in Walescooked on a flat griddle or bakestone. They have been popular since the late 19th century when fat, eggs, sugar and dried fruit were added to a longer standing recipe for flat-bread. Today there are a variety of flavours available, including chocolate, strawberry, lemon and salted caramel, but for many the big debate is, do you add mixed spice to your mix or not?
Cawl is recognised as a national dish of Wales and recipes date back to the 14th century. It is a broth and its ingredients tend to vary, but the most common recipes include chunks of lamb or beef with leeks, potatoes, swede, carrots and other root vegetables. “Cawl Cennin” is made with leeks and no meat. Cawl is often served with bread and cheese.
the Red Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch)
The Welsh national flag was officially unfurled for the first time in 1959. However, the red dragon has been used as an emblem in Wales since the reign of Cadwaladr, King of Gwynedd from around 655AD. The significance of the dragon in Welsh culture stems also from Arthurian legend when Merlin had a vision of a red dragon (representing native Britons) fighting a white dragon (the Saxon invaders). The use of green and white refer to the colours of the House of Tudor, the 15th century royal family of Welsh origin. In 2021 the Draig Goch, was officially named the coolest flag in the world following a global poll by Ranker.
Y Gymraeg – the Welsh Language
The native language of Wales, Cymraeg, is spoken by three-quarters of a million people – most living in Wales, but there are also thousands of speakers in England, the USA, Canada, Australia and Argentina to name but a few countries. The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 gave the Welsh language official status in Wales.
There are 29 letters in the Welsh alphabet including 7 vowels and there are regional variations and dialects.
Saint David (Dewi Sant)
Dewi Sant, or Saint David, was a Welsh bishop of Mynyw (now St Davids in Pembrokeshire) during the 6th century. He is the patron saint of Wales. Dewi was a native of Wales, and he is believed to be the son of Saint Non and the grandson of Ceredig ap Cunedda, king of Ceredigion. His best-known miracle took place when he was preaching in the middle of a large crowd at the village of LlanddewiBrefiand the ground on which he stood rose up to form a small hill allowing the people to see and hear him. Legend also has it that wherever he went, a white dove would follow – this is why most images of the saint features a white dove above his head.