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Culture of Wales

The patron saint of Wales is Saint David, and the Welsh flag depicts a red dragon on a green and white field. The national emblems are the leek, a relative of the onion, and the daffodil. Interestingly, the Welsh words for leek (cennin) and daffodil (cennin Pedr, lit. [Saint] Peter's Leek) are closely related and it is likely that one of the symbols came to be used due to a misunderstanding for the other one, though it is less clear which came first.

St David's Day is celebrated on March 1st, which some people argue should be a public holiday in Wales (although others disagree).


Wales is often known by the epithet[?] "the Land of Song" (Welsh: Gwlad y Gân) and its people have a renowned affinity for poetry and music.

Perhaps the most well-known muscial image of Wales is that of the choir, in particular the male voice choir (Welsh: cor meibion). While this is certainly an important part of the current musical life of the nation, it is by no means the only or the oldest part, and the choral tradition does not really stretch back significantly beyond the 19th Century.

Much older is the tradition of instrumental folk music. The harp has been closely associated with Wales for a very long time, and one kind of harp, the triple harp[?] is uniquely Welsh. Other specifically Welsh instruments included the crwth and the pibgorn[?], though both fell out of general use by the end of the 18th century. The instrumental folk tradition fell into decline through the 19th and early 20th centuries, but has since seen a revival and is now arguably as strong as ever. The principal instruments are the harp and the fiddle, but many other instruments are used, and both the crwth and pibgorn are again being played by a small but growing number of people.

Wales also has a long tradition of folk song which, like the instrumental tradition was long in decline but is now flourishing again. One notable kind of Welsh song is cerdd dant[?] which, loosely, is an improvised performance following quite strict rules in which poetry is sung to one tune against the accompaniment of (usually) a harp to a different tune.

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