In Wales we don’t have to wait until St Valentine’s Day (February 14th) to get all lovey-dovey. Our patron saint of love, Dwynwen, is celebrated in January.
Here are some things you may not know about St. Dwynwen.
1. Dwynwen is female.
Dwynwen lived during the 5th century. The story goes that she was one of the 24 daughters of Welsh king Brychan Brycheiniog, who ruled the Brecon Beacons area.
2. Dwynwen fell in love with the wrong man.
She loved a prince called Maelon Dafodrill but, unfortunately, her father had arranged for her to marry someone else. Distraught, Dwynwen begged God to make her forget Maelon. In a dream Dwynwen was visited by an angel who brought a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
3. Dwynwen was granted three wishes.
God gave Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second wish was that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and her third wish, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.
4. Dwynwen lived on an island.
Dwynwen set up a convent on the tiny, tidal island of Llanddwyn, off the west coast of Anglesey. The remains of the church and Dwynwen's well are still visible. Llanddwyn remains attached to the mainland of Anglesey except during the highest tides.
5. January 25th is St Dwynwen’s Day.
On 25th January, many Welsh people celebrate by giving a card, flowers or love spoon to their loved one, and an increasing number of restaurants have St. Dwynwen’s Day offers for couples. So why wait until February 14th for a romantic break?