Santes Dwynwen - Welsh patron saint of lovers

Going on a date with affectionate allotmenteers, doting diggers and gorgeous gardeners?

 January 25th is St Dwynwen’s Day, honouring our Welsh patron saint of lovers. Santes Dwynwen is also considered the patroness of farmers’ beasts. The later date in February celebrating St Valentine is better known so here are a few tidbits about St Dwynwen.


'Dwynwen was the prettiest of King Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. She fell in love with a local lad called Maelon Dafodrill, but King Brychan had already arranged for her to marry another prince. Maelon took the news badly, so the distraught Dwynwen fled to the woods to weep, and begged God to help her. She was visited by an angel who gave her a sweet potion to help her forget Maelon, and turned him into a block of ice.

God then granted Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; second, that God help all true lovers; and third, that she should never marry.  In gratitude, Dwynwen became a nun, setting up a convent on Llanddwyn Island, a beautiful little spot just off Anglesey. Her name means, ‘she who leads a blessed life’.'


A Welsh love spoon is traditionally given as a Santes Dwynwen’s day gift. In 2007, Mr Ed Harrison carved the world’s largest ever love spoon measuring 44ft which features a heart, cage, dragon and links, all symbolising love. Flowers are the most popular gift for Valentine’s Day. Red roses represent romance, passion and beauty, red tulips represent a declaration of love.

More on deciphering the secret language of flowers next week.

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