In towns and villages children can be seen walking to school in traditional Welsh costume, to take part in eisteddfodau, special concerts with singing and crafts. It is the most important day in the Welsh calendar to celebrate our culture and heritage, but who was Dewi Sant?
A 6th century native of Wales, Dewi Sant is said to have been born on a Pembrokeshire clifftop in a terrible storm. The site is marked by the ruins of St Non’s Chapel. He was a respected teacher and preacher who founded monastic settlements and churches throughout Wales, southwest England and in Brittany.
Dewi Sant is often depicted on a small hill, with a dove on his shoulder. The iconography refers to his most famous miracle. On preaching to a crowd at the Synod of Brefi, a white dove appeared to settle on his shoulder and the land around him rose up. The town of Llandewi Brefi now marks this spot.
Dewi Sant lived a life of holiness and faithfully practised what he preached. His monastic rules set out that monks should pull the plough themselves, drink only water and eat only bread, with a just a few herbs. When fasting he ate only leeks, the symbol of Wales, and promoted a simple diet without meat or beer.