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Holidays in Wales

These are the main holidays that are unique to Wales and celebrated in other parts of the UK, except when they fall on the same day as something else !

Saints’ Days

St Davids Day

The patron saint of Wales is St David, Welsh: Dewi Sant. St. David’s Day (Dydd G?yl Dewi Sant) is celebrated on 1 March, which some people argue should be a designated national holiday.

G?yl Mabsantyl
On a more localised level, each parish celebrated a G?yl Mabsant in commemoration of its native saint. This annual celebration developed from a dedication through prayer to a programme of recreational activities.

Dydd Santes Dwynwen
Celebrated on 25 January every year, Dydd Santes Dwynwen (the day of Saint Dwynwen) is the Welsh day of love much like St. Valentine’s Day.

G?yl San Steffan
Celebrated on 26 December, in Wales Boxing day or St. Stephen’s Day is known as G?yl San Steffan.

Seasonal Festivals

Nos Galan and Dydd Calan
January 1: The Welsh New Year’s Eve and Day celebration involving the tradition of giving gifts or money Calennig to celebrate the new year.

G?yl Fair y Canhwyllau
February 2: Literally translates as “Mary’s Festival of the Candles,” but it is equivalent to Candlemas and Imbolc. In Paganism, the Welsh holiday name is just G?yl y Canhwyllau, meaning “The Festival (Sabbat) of Lights.”

Alban Eilir
March 20–21: Spring Equinox, the middle of Spring.

Calan Mai or Calan Haf
May 1: May Day, the first day of summer and the Welsh equivalent of Beltane.

Alban Hefin or Gwyl Ifan
June 20–21: Summer Solstice, otherwise known as Midsummer’s day.

Calan Awst, or Gathering Day
August 1: The first day of Autumn, a time of festival and drinking, the Welsh equivalent to Lughnasadh.

Alban Elfed
September 22–23: Autumn Equinox, the middle of Autumn.

Nos Galan Gaeaf and Calan Gaeaf
October 31 and November 1: Winter’s eve and the first day of winter. A Hallowe’en or Samhain type festival.

Alban Arthan
December 21–22: A Winter Solstice or Midwinter festival, the shortest day of the year.

This is poetic tradition has been celebrated in eisteddfod, a Welsh word meaning a gathering where people recite verses and sing songs.