WITH St David’s Day parades cancelled this year people across the country are being asked to hold virtual celebrations to celebrate our patron saint.

In the last few years there has been a large growth in the number of St David’s Day parades all over Wales; before the pandemic there was around 25 organised parades across the country.

But while the Covid-19 pandemic has put a stop to the regular St David’s Day celebrations in the community, a group of parade organisers have come together to encourage people to mark the occasion virtually in Wales and around the world.

The group includes Llio Silyn Davies from Ammanford, Martin Evans headteacher at Gwaun cae Gurwen school and writer, performer and broadcaster Gwenno Dafydd who penned the Welsh anthem Cenwch y Clychau i Dewi (Ring Out The Bells For Saint David).

Gwenno said: “The last year has been a challenge for us all on so many levels so let’s get together in the virtual world, which has at least allowed us to stay in contact with our nearest and dearest, and celebrate Saint David’s Day worldwide.

“We have decided to invite people to add their virtual celebrations to hashtags which have been created especially for this year.”

People are encouraged to share their celebrations online using the following hashtags:

The Welsh hashtag will be: #DathliadRhithiolDewi2021 (Virtual David Celebrations 2021)

And the English one will be: #VirtualStDavidsDay21

Here are some ways you can celebrate St David’s Day online this year.

  • Learn the Saint David’s Day Anthem, Calon Lan and the Welsh National Anthem in family, school, choir or community groups on zoom – record them and share them online using the hashtags. You can buy the manuscript for the anthem here . There are four versions available – piano and voice, mixed choir, women’s and men’s choir.
  • This online video is a great example of how to bring individuals together in a virtual space to sing the Saint David’s Day Anthem. It features children from North and South Wales, Los Angeles and Patagonia (South America) singing the anthem together.
  • Gwenno Dafydd is the Americymru Saint David’s Day World Ambassador and this year as part of this role she has recorded a presentation in both Welsh and English talking about the history of Saint David’s Day celebrations, including her very own anthem, parades, county and school banners.
  • Create virtual parades within schools, communities or families. The children of Ysgol Gwaun Cae Gurwen School are going to sing the anthem and create a virtual parade. Here’s the format: Dress up or wave a banner while you go for a short walk locally. Take a photo or a video and share it on social media using the hashtags. The school will also be holding a virtual Eisteddfod for pupils on March 1 and presenting the bardic chair to the winner.
  • Make family, school and community banners similar to the three County Banners and school banners which have already been created.
  • Hang pictures and images in your windows at home including Welsh dragons, leeks, daffodils, doves and Saint David.
  • Take part in online competitions including ar Menter Iaith y Gorllewin (West Wales Language Initiatives) on Wednesday March 3.
  • Search for online St David's Day videos including how to make Welsh cakes and Welsh songs and stories for Welsh learners.
  • Fly your banners in your gardens: The Dragon, Owain Glyndwr’s flag and Saint David’s Banner.

Gwenno added: “Next year, if we have to delay any of our parades because of inclement weather which tends to occur on Saint David’s Day, we can continue to use these hashtags every year in order for us to connect with everyone who loves Wales and who wants to celebrate our patron Saint – wherever they are in the world.”