Dragons, daffodils and dressing up: How Wales is celebrating St David's Day 2021

From dressing up to buying daffodils, this is how people in Wales are celebrating St David's Day. Credit: John Humphries/Louise Sharp/Natalie Moulton

St David's Day - the day Wales celebrates its patron saint - has arrived 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

But this year's celebrations are very different from the usual parades, concerts and performances.

Coronavirus restrictions have prevented events from taking place, and instead, families across Wales will be celebrating from home.

In a St David's Day message, the First Minister thanked those who have followed Covid rules throughout the pandemic.

"St David told us to 'do the little things' – 'be joyful and keep the faith'," he said.

"I would like to thank you for all the things you've done over the last year to keep each other safe. Together, we will get through this."

So how are people spending St David's Day differently this year?

Felicity, 3, and five-month-old Dylan, from Cardiff, will be spending the day in their dragon and Welsh Rugby outfits. Credit: Rachel James-Algeo
  • Dressing up

Despite people being at home during St David's Day this year, many are still choosing to dress up for the occasion.

Parents have been dressing up their babies and children in dragon costumes, with many others wearing daffodil hats.

Some are sporting Welsh Rugby shirts and kits following Wales' Six Nations triple crown win against England on Saturday.

Nelly and Lilah James and Scarlett and Savannah Hendy are celebrating in their traditional Welsh costumes in Neath. Credit: Samantha Hendy

Many children have also dressed up in the traditional Welsh dress, which was worn by women living in rural Wales in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The modern costume is usually red with white lace detailing, accompanied by a black and white chequered apron.

Jemima, 2, celebrated St David's Day at home with her mum and ITV Wales presenter, Andrea Byrne. Credit: Andrea Byrne

A white shawl and a black hat are also worn, with many accompanying the outfit with a yellow daffodil pinned onto it 🌼

Boys also have a traditional St David's Day costume, which tends to include a waistcoat, cap and bowtie in similar colours.

Thea, 4, Layla, 8, Gwenllian, 2, Phoebe, 9, and Miranda, 5, all dressed up. Credit: Jason Humphries/Samantha Jolene Rychly/Claire Wookey
  • Buying daffodils

Many people have taken to the shops to buy a bunch of daffodils.

The daffodil was introduced as Wales' national flower in the 19th century, as a replacement for the humble leek, and is often worn on St David's Day.

The leek is considered to be the national emblem of Wales. According to legend, St David ordered his Welsh soldiers to identify themselves by wearing a leek on their helmets in a battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field.

Dexter the puppy is among many marking St David's Day with a beautiful bunch of daffodils. Credit: John Hughes

Farmers warned there could be a shortage of British leeks on St David's Day, partly due to coronavirus.

The UK's supply of the vegetable is said to have almost run out due to a 15% surge in demand as more people cook at home during the pandemic.

Last spring's cold weather, which led to smaller crops, is also said to be partly to blame.

The leek is often used in traditional Welsh recipes like cawl.

Daffodils at sunset from Loughor Estuary. Credit: Duane Evans
  • Getting outdoors

Current restrictions in Wales allow people to exercise outside within their local area, so some people have just been enjoying the spring weather on St David's Day.

The First Minister said the warmer weather was one of the reasons to celebrate ☀️

He said: "The weekend weather had a real sense of spring in the air for the first time after what has been a long winter".

Milo and Boo, from Swansea, got into their traditional Welsh hats and lace. Credit: Claire Scott-Morgan
  • St David's Day dogs

Many of Wales' canine residents have been getting in the spirit too, with some owners dressing up their dogs.

Lowri Woosnam, from north Wales, said she and her family have been decorating their fireplace on St David's Day for years.

This year, her dog Miss Toffee Banoffee posed in front of their display.

Miss Toffee Banoffee is getting in the spirit. Credit: Lowri Woosnam
  • Virtual events

For those missing the usual St David's Day events - with a national parade usually being held in the centre of Cardiff - there are various virtual celebrations taking place online.

Gŵyl Dewi 2021 is a programme of events including appearances from Welsh stars including Hollywood actor Luke Evans and singer songwriter Cerys Matthews.

There will also be a digital programme of events for Wales Week Worldwide, ranging from a rugby Q and A, to stand-up comedy, to cookery demonstrations and art exhibitions.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus/Happy St David's Day!