St Dwynwen's Day

Today, 25 January, many people in Wales commemorate the patron saint of friendship and love.

The legend of St Dwynwen

The legend of St Dwynwen goes like this...

She was the prettiest daughter of 5th-century Welsh king Brychan Brycheiniog. She fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but her father was determined she would marry another man.

Dwynwen was devastated and begged god to make her forget Maelon. An angel visited her, with a potion to erase all memory of him, and turn him into a block of ice.

God then gave her three wishes. She wished that Maelon could be thawed. She wished that god could meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers, and that she would never marry.

She devoted herself to religion, and founded a convent on the island of Llanddwyn, off Anglesey.

According to legend, Dwynwen's well on the island contains a sacred fish. It's said that the fish can predict the happiness of relationships. Many visitors go, hoping that, if the water boils, love and good luck will follow them.

Happy St Dwynwen's Day

Today, on January 25, Wales commemorates the patron saint of friendship and love, Dwynwen.

According to legend, she was the prettiest of Welsh king Brychan Brycheiniog's 24 daughters. She was unable to marry the man she loved, so instead devoted her life to the happiness of other lovers.

She lived in the 5th century, and built a church on Llandwyn Island, off the coast of Anglesey. Remains of the church - along with Dwynwen's well - are popular for visitors up to the present day.

St Dwynwen
Dwynwen is remembered as the prettiest daughter of a 5th-century Welsh king Credit: Visit Wales

For many people here, St Dwynwen's Day is now an early - and particularly Welsh - version of Valentine's Day.

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