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St. David and other Welsh symbols
Repeat after me: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
Did you catch that? Well, probably not.
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the longest name for a town in the United Kingdom, and the second longest name for a town in the world. Where exactly in the United Kingdom, you may ask? Wales. And in which language? English? No, Welsh.
But that’s enough long words for one day. I’m now going to tell you a little story about a battle in Wales, from all the way back in the 6th century.
The Welsh army were under attack from the Saxons, you know, the people coming from what we now call Germany. However, this battle wasn’t so simple. The soldiers couldn’t tell the difference between their friends and their enemies. Why, you ask?
Their passion for fashion. The hottest helmets on the high street were worn by both sides and nobody knew Tom from Dick or Dick from Harry. But luckily, a very intelligent Welsh man had a solution. His name was David.
David was a preacher who spread the message of God to the people of Wales. His idea was simple but a little unusual. He told the Welsh soldiers to wear leeks on their helmets. Why? So that the soldiers could tell the difference between their friends and their enemies. His plan worked and the Welsh soldiers won the battle.
David died on 1st March. The Welsh soldiers were so grateful for David that they chose this date as their national day and named him the Patron Saint of Wales. Thus, the 1st of March is now known as ‘St. David’s Day’ and the leek has become a national symbol of Wales. Alongside other symbols such as the mighty red dragon (as featured on the Welsh flag), daffodils, Welsh love spoons, the Welsh harp and the Welsh rarebit.