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St Dwynwen's Day

Romance should be in the air across Wales as people celebrate St Dwynwen's Day, the saint of friendship and love on 25th January. St Dwynwen is Wales's female version of St valentine, but the event and history are not as well known as St Valentine's day. Although traditionally love spoons and cards are exchanged on this day it is very difficult to find St Dwynwen's Day cards.

The legend


St. Dwynwen (also known as Dwyn, Donwen, Donwenna, Dunwen) lived in the 5th Century, one of 24 daughters of King Brychan Brycheiniog.

Dwynwen fell in love with a prince, Maelon Dafodrill, who wanted to marry her. Unfortunately they could not be married. The reasons are not certain; some say that her father had promissed her to some one else whilst others say that she had decided to become a nun.
Maelon Dafodrill was very bitter about this and Dwynwen fled to the woods and prayed to God to make her forget Maelon. An angel appeared to her and she was given a sweet potion which was designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.

Again she prayed and God granted her three wishes. First she wished that Maelon be unfrozen; second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers (That is why she is known throughout the country as the Patron of lovers in Wales); and third, 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.

She committed her life to GOD and founded a convent on what is now Llanddwyn island, just off the Isle of Anglesey (Yns Mon). Her holy well, a fresh-water spring called Ffynnon Dwynwen, became a place of pilgrimage. The waters are believed to tell the future of couples and if the water boils while they are present love is certain.

One of her sayings was, "Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness."

If you are having trouble finding St Dwynwen's Day cards, you could try:

Bys a Bawd
29 Denby Street,
Llanrwst, Conwy LL26 0LL
email: gwawr@bysabawd.com
tel: 01492 641329