25 Jan Happy St Dynwens Day!
Happy St Dynwens Day. Who, I hear you ask? St Dynwen is the patron saint of lovers in Wales and January 25th is when the Welsh celebrate all things love. Burns tonight too! Robert Burns, one of my favourite poets…
“O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.”
P.S It is also my birthday, so happy birthday me!
Dwynwen is believed to have been the daughter of King Brychan Brycheiniog, her Mother was Rigrawst, and they hailed from Anglesey in North Wales. Dynwen had a love-struck suitor, Maelor, whom she loves, but her Father refuses to sanction the marriage. Chinese whispers kick in here, because like a true soap storyline, there are differing accounts. I prefer the one where they live happily ever after, sadly that is not an option! Legend has it, that poor Dynwen is bereft and she prays to an angel that she may forget her love for him. The angel turns Maelor into ice, and a horrified Dynwen then prays that he be released. If granted she swears to remain unmarried forever and look after all lovers! True to her word, she did just that and died a hermit in AD460.
Picture credit:St Dynwen – Brecon Beacons Tourism Blog
Pretty sad don’t you think? Poor St Dynwen, not a happy ever after for her, and a sad tale worthy
of a Mills and Boon novel. However not everything LOVE in Wales is sad. Take the Love Spoon for example, a traditional decoratively carved, wooden spoon gifted as a hint of romantic intent. Carved with symbols of love such as hearts, wheels, locks, anchors and initials. Love spoons date back to the 17th Century, with the earliest known example on display in St Fagan’s, Museum of Welsh Life in Cardiff, and is thought to be from 1667.
Love spoons are not just a Welsh tradition, they were also symbols of love in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe too, with an example in Germany dating back to 1664.
Love spoons were given to young women from their suitors to prove that they can provide for her and that he had worthy skills. Traditionally they are carved from one piece of wood, and some are hugely intricate. Sailors would carve anchors into their spoons, and wooden cages filled with balls usually indicated how many children would bless their union.
I love adding symbolism into my ceremonies, and this spoon is full of them:
- Hearts = Love
- Cross = Faith
- Wheel = Supporting a loved one
- Padlock = Security, locking two hearts together
I personally like the spoons with bells carved into them, the symbolism of a bell is very deep. The tolling of the bells on your wedding day symbolises the beginning of your marriage, bells toll at the arrival of VIP’s, to make special announcements, and to warn of disaster or death; they toll to pronounce a victory – I’m thinking boxing matches! Bells can expand your mind, are associated with time, and in Buddhism bells are sacred objects, bells are also thought to be the voice of God.
Today, Love Spoons are given as wedding presents, anniversary and birthday gifts, to announce a new baby and for Christmas and Valentine gifts
Your celebrant wedding ceremony will reflect you both and your love story. It can include any symbolism that has a meaningful connection to you both.
Footballs, for any supporter symbolise strength, spirit and passion. If you love your Louboutin’s, shoes symbolise protection and a need to make life easier, taking a new path, treading new ground or making a fresh start as a Mrs or Mr. Ivy symbolises fidelity. The cutting and eating of the wedding cake symbolise a promise to forever provide for each other.
That’s where I come in as your celebrant. I will write you your very own unique, personalised, hand-crafted and symbolic ceremony, making a memory to last a lifetime. It will celebrate your love-story and it will be a beautiful reflection of what is meaningful to you both. It can be traditional, non-traditional, fun or funky! It will be conducted in front of all your family and friends, in the venue of your choice, and at the time of your choice – Don’t even get me started on the symbolism of time we’ll be here all day! Safe to stay the best time to get married is twilight as this symbolises a dividing line, the closing of one day and the opening of another, rather like your marriage!
With Love KB