February the 14th is the traditional Valentines Day in England and Wales, as well as a lot of other countries across the western world. No doubt you’re already starting to see the beginning of the day being touted across TV screens, and you’re probably already being encouraged to go out and buy something for your partner- despite the fact that Christmas has only really just ended.
There’s another day which is very special in Wales. This is Saint Dwynwen’s Day on January the 25th- a day for all lovers to honour each other. What makes this different from Valentines’ Day, you might ask? It’s the fact that it is a little bit different. It’s not half as commercial, for one.
Named after Saint Dwynwen, and intended to be a day meant to honour all lovers, Dwynwen’s Day is something which is intended to be far less commercial than its more widely known counterpart. There’s no obligation with Saint Dwynwen’s Day- and the thing to remember is to enjoy your time together more than buy something just for the sake of not annoying your partner.
Saint Dwynwen is the Welsh Patron Saint of Love, and she gained this title from being rather unlucky in love herself. The legend says that she was a 4th Century Princess of who fell in love with a man named Maelon Dafodrill- but could not be with him for the fact that her father had already promised her hand to a prince. She prayed for the strength to overcome her love and to do as her family needed her to do for the sake of their prosperity and the love that she had for them, and God responded by turning Maelon into a block of ice. (Harsh, we’ll agree.)
Saint Dwynwen was then so distraught that God himself offered her three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon was thawed immediately, the second was that those who were in love would have far better luck than she, and the third was that she would never marry.
It is said that Saint Dwynwen then became a nun and moved to Llanddwyn Island, in order to establish a convent. It is also said that she lived there happily for many years before she passed away, surrounded by the love of those who she had nurtured.
We’ve identified some of the very best ways of which you and yours can get into the spirit of Saint Dwynwen’s Day, and of course it involves visiting her island. It’s not too far from Ogwen Bank- just a 47 minute drive actually, and is just over 24 miles from our beautiful Holiday Park.
Llanddwyn Island has all manner of things there which still hold a little bit of the magic from that time. For instance, it’s a very beautiful place to be. The beach has Blue Flag status, and is backed by dunes as well as a forest with a healthy number of red squirrels. The island itself is pretty enough to qualify as a nature reserve, and offers views from the Menai Strait to Snowdonia, on a good day.
The ruins of Dwynwen’s church are in plain sight on the island, and can be a very pretty place to have a picnic with someone special. We also recommend taking a look at Dwynwen’s Well – where it is said that couples that look into the well together can receive prophecies about their relationship. Apparently, if you see fish in the well as you both stare into the water, your relationship will be a success.