Today is St. David's Day - the patron saint of Wales. From the National Museum Wales:
According to Rhigyfarch, Dewi died in the year 589. His mother was called Non, and his father, Sant, was the son of Ceredig, King of Ceredigion. After being educated in Cardiganshire, he went on pilgrimage through south Wales and the west of England, where it is said that he founded religious centres such as Glastonbury and Croyland. He even went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was made archbishop.
All of Wales will proudly fly the national flag wtih the Red Dragon - a symbol of Wale's independence. From
The ancient poets Aneirin and Taliesin use the Welsh word for dragon "draig" in the sense of "warrior" or "leader" and this usage remained to the Middle Ages. In the Historia Brittonum (ascribed to Nennius) of around 800 A.D. the dragon is seen as a symbol of national independence in the story of the red dragon battling with the white dragon of the Saxon enemy.
I have two Davids in my family so I invited two Dragon-aficionados to help us celebrate. Coming from the Fort Meade Tea Party, please join me in welcoming the legendary Mary Jo Putney:
Kim: What is your favorite Welsh castle, town, and saying?
Mary Jo: The castle would be Caerphilly. I suppose it's a rather unimaginative choice, but soooo splendid!
For a town, Carmarthen. I had friends who lived there, and we'd visit and see the country and visit the town market and generally have a lovely time.
As for the sayings, I had to look these up. I like this one because it's so perfect for a writer!
“Without perseverance talent is a barren bed.”
|Caerphilly Castle with "Leaning Tower"|
Kim: What draws you to dragons?
Mary Jo: They're just--so cool! Great powerful mysterious beasts who fly. Magic and mystery both. Even though they're lizards, I do so enjoy them!
Kim: Do you have any books set in Wales?
Mary Jo: THUNDER AND ROSES is set almost entirely in Wales. It's out of print in the US, but available from British site The Book Depository under the title FALLEN ANGEL.
The Book Depository is great--they have free book shipping anywhere in the world.
My historical THE BARGAIN also has Welsh elements, and that's about to be reissued by Kensington in April.
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Kim in Hawaii
'Cadw' (pronounced cad-oo) is a Welsh word meaning 'to keep'. I previous wrote about our visit to Southeast Wales in an October post LAND OF MAGICAL DRAGONS.
Mary Jo named Caerphilly Castle - probably the grand-daddy of Cadw castles in Southeast Wales. Mary Jo would appreciate that Caerphilly Castle has a guard cat named Elvis!
I love crumbling ruins and we found seven more sites in the Monmouth valley
- Tintern Abbey was dismantled by Henry VIII
plus six castles that began Norman keeps, evolved into English fortresses against the Welsh uprisings, but were destroyed in the English Civil War:
- Chepstow Castle,
- Monmouth Castle
- Skenfrith Castle
- Grosmont Castle
- White Castle
- Raglan Castle
|Raglan Castle and its guard cat Beatrice|
To continue the celebration, join Deborah Cooke as she explores dragons as a the good guys, Welcome to Wales with Deborah Cooke.