Not a lot of folk that I bump into out here in the US have a clue where Wales is, let alone who it's patron saint is, so here's an obscure cultural right hook for ya! I'm not about to have a "patron saint-off" with the Paddy fans, but thought it'd be nice to give Dewi a look in, as he's often sidelined due to not being sponsored by Guiness.
My family is from South Wales (Merthyr and Aberfan). I grew up in Brecon until I was six and then we moved to North Wales and I lived near Conwy until I went to university. My husband is from further into the hills. He's from a little town outside Caernarfon. Both our kids have Welsh names and we go back as often as we can afford, to visit our family, who still live there.
Wales is a truely beautiful place. So much so that in the Welsh language we have the word "Hiraeth", which has no literal translation into English, but means something along the lines of a deep heartfelt longing for the homeland, a kind of homesickness to your bones. Here are a few photos I took last time we were visiting, to give you an idea of the breathtaking landscape. Yes there are sheep and castles everywhere.
Here's a picture of me aged five looking uncertain about the Welsh national costume that my mum made for me (yes, we wore those to school on St David's day, some of us with a whole leek pinned to our chest!)
And here's a member of the Welsh mafia rocking the national costume outside Conwy's smallest house. Dig the shades!
So, for some nice Saint David's day crafts, we decided to make some kitchen paper and string leeks for the play kitchen (leeks are a national emblem for Wales), and some paper cup and doily welsh hats for the girl's dolls to wear, plus a few little welsh flags, because Wales has the coolest flag ever.
Kitchen Paper Leeks
These were easy peasy. Just paper towel, and string for the roots.
Fold your kitchen paper in half and snip sections half way down it to make the leaves of the leek.
Then fold it in half again and roll it up into a leek shape.
Pop a bit of tape on to hold it shut.
Cut some string pieces for roots and tie them on the bottom of the leek.
Then paint the leaves with watered down green food colouring.
Hang them up to dry upside down.
perfect play food for a pretend kitchen.
Paper cup Welsh Hats.
Welsh hats are a funny looking kind of amalgamation of stovepipe hats and pilgrim hats.
These were extremely cheap and cheerful too, because I had the paper cups and mini doilies on hand. just cut circles of card for the brim of the hat, and then a hole in the middle that is just smaller than the lip of the cup, so that the card will sit snuggly on the cup.
Glue it down.
Let the kids paint them up with black paint (original Welsh hats were black silk)
Once they have dried off, glue a doily underneath.
Then tear out the center of the doily once the glue is set.
I just printed out a few in line art for the kids to colour and glue to wooden BBQ skewers. These remind me so much of the ones we used to get in little seaside sets of sand castle flags like these when we were kids.
All the dollies are dressed up ready for 1st March. We added a couple of little red shawls made from dollar store paper napkins that were left over from a birthday party.
Even Lola and Upsie Daisy.
If you want some ideas for Welsh foods that you could cook up for St David's day, then Bara Brith and Welsh Cakes are very yum. Our national dish is Welsh Rarebit (glorified cheese on toast)
Usually classes make egg carton daffodils like these for Saint David's day too, but we didn't have any egg cartons handy.
If you'd like to make a castle like many of those found across North Wales, here's a post from a while back, where we made one out of toilet roll tubes. It's not very patriotic though really, because most of those castles were built by the English when they were busy kicking our asses in the Middle Ages.
Anyhoo, before you all get carried away with Leprechauns and shamrock...
Happy Saint David's Day!