Dydd Santes Dwynwen - what's all the fuss about?
As most of my marketing materials point out, Nant Awen, is just the spot for a little bit of romance. Whether it's hearts carved into the handmade wooden furniture; wood burner for cwtching up in front of in the evenings; or a private hot tub under the stars if it's romance you're looking for, we got it in spades, no, hearts! So it would be silly of me to not mention the up and coming Valentines day, wouldn't it?
We got Dwynwen to deal with first, folks!
The story of Dwynwen, kinda like Frozen but really not
So most people will roughly explain this as the Welsh Valentines Day, which is half right but also wrong. Dwynwen is the patron Saint of Lovers, but that's pretty much where the romance ends.
The legend goes that she fell in love with a man who turned out to be very much not great (this is a story for the Dating App generation if ever I heard one... amirite?) and for turning down his *cough*sexual harassment*cough* advances, she was rewarded with three wishes.
Her first wish was for the man to be unfrozen.
Did I forget to mention he got turned into a block of ice? Yes. That happened, because what better way to cool off and think about what you've done than to be turned into one giant lump of ice.
And Dwynwen was gracious enough to get him thawed.
Secondly she wished that her prayers on behalf of all genuine would-be lovers be heard so they could either: succeed in their love and have a happy ever after; or if their love was unrequited, forget all about it and move on. Ya girl, Dwynwen saving everyone a lot of time and heartache but getting rid of a lot of movie storylines.
Thirdly she wished to never have to marry, because clearly once bitten by love, twice shy and our girl is nothing if not practical.
She then took herself off to be a nun at an isolated church on a tidal island just off the west coast of Ynys Mon (Anglesey). The remains of the church, Llanddwyn (church of St. Dwynwen) can still be found there.
It became quite the place of pilgrimage for a while after her death, where apparently sacred eels and fish in a well would foretell whether a visitors relationship would be happy, or if love and happiness would be theirs. Not going to lie to you guys, I'm not sure how the fish and eels did the fortune telling, but I imagine it was a little bit like that octopus that predicted the world cup that one year before they ate it.
Despite not being the most romantic tale we still take the opportunity to celebrate St Dwynwen on January 25th. The chance to pack in a few extra cwtches, maybe send a card and just feel generally lovey-dovey inside.
Or you could, you know, book a last minute getaway with your significant other, treat yourselves to an extra bit of romance.
Did I mention that I know a great little place...