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Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen – The Welsh Valentines Day

Published on 22 Jan 2016 by Gwion Llwyd

Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen (pronounced Doo-In-Wen) is the Welsh Valentines day and celebrated on the 25th January. Santes Dwynen is the Welsh saint of love and her story is steeped in Celtic folklore…

Warming log fire

She was the daughter of the king Brychan Brycheiniog and one of 24 siblings all of whom were blessed with beauty; Dwynen however was the most beautiful. During a banquet at court, Dwynwen and a young prince, Maelon Drafodrill, met and fell in love. The following day Maelon rushed to ask Brychan for his daughters hand in marriage, but alas she was betrothed to another. Maelon left the court distraught without even saying goodbye to Dwynwen.

Heartbroken, Dwynwen fled to the forest where she prayed to God, asking him to rid her of her love for Maelon. When she eventually fell asleep, Dwynwen had the strangest dream. Maelon was walking towards her through the trees when an angel, sent by God, came down from heaven and turned the young prince to ice. The angel then turned to Dwynwen to offer her three wishes.

Her first wish was that Maelon would be restored to life. Secondly for God to meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers, and finally that she should never marry and instead devote her life to the service of God.

The following day when she awoke, Dwynwen began her journey to North Wales. She settled on the quiet island of Llanddwyn and devoted the rest of her life to God.

You can still visit the remains of Dwynen’s convent on island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey where It’s believed the well is home to sacred fish who can predict whether a couples relationship will succeed; if the fish are seen to be active when visiting the well, it is seen as a sign of a faithful husband….

If you’re inspired by the Welsh traditions, we have some beautiful holiday cottages for two that offer the perfect setting for a romantic weekend away with a loved one. Romantic Holiday Cottages for Two

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