\"To be born in Wales, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but, with music in your blood and with poetry in your soul, is a privilege indeed.\" icon

"To be born in Wales, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but, with music in your blood and with poetry in your soul, is a privilege indeed."



Название"To be born in Wales, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but, with music in your blood and with poetry in your soul, is a privilege indeed."
Дата конвертации16.07.2012
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"To be born in Wales, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but, with music in your blood and with poetry in your soul, is a privilege indeed."

Brian Harris


Capital
(and largest city)

Cardiff

National languages

Welsh
English


Government

Constitutional
Monarchy


Area
total


20779 km2

Population
2008 estimate


300,004,600

National symbols


  • ^ A red dragon is probably the oldest symbol of Wales. If you go to Wales, you will see red dragons everywhere – on signs, in souvenir shops and on flags.

    ^ The red dragon

    No-one really knows how the red dragon became the emblem of Wales. However, it seems that the early Britons probably used it as a battle standard, after the Roman occupation and that it may derive from a Roman Standard. One clue to this theory is



    that the English word "Dragon" and the Welsh word "Draig" both come from the same Latin root "draco". In any case the dragon has become a symbol identified with Wales. A legend recorded by a 8th century historian tells a fight between a red and a white dragon, which ends with the triumph of the red dragon – representing Wales.


  • Another symbol of Wales is a vegetable called a leek. Welsh people wear them on their coats on St David's Day, the Welsh national holiday.

  • However, some people wear another symbol of Wales – the daffodil.

The leek

There are many legends telling us how the leek came to be the national legend of Wales A popular one is that St David advised the Britons on the eve of a battle with the Saxons, to wear leeks in their caps so as to easily distinguish friend from foe. This helped to secure a great victory Hence, the wearing of leeks on St David




^ The daffodil

Possibly one of the reasons why the daffodil is used as an emblem is that the word for



Day. It is still a surviving tradition that soldiers in the Welsh regiments ear a raw leek on St David Day



daffodil and leek are similar in Welsh. This confusion means that both have been adopted as national emblems




  • The harp is also regarded as a symbol of Wales, a national music instrument. Although it enjoyed a special status in Wales for a thousand years or more, no native harp from earlier than 1700 survived today. Some manuscript sources provide information about the harp and its music around the medieval period in Wales. By the end of the 18th century, the triple harp – so called because it had three rows of strings – was widely known as the Welsh harp on account of its popularity in Wales. Although generally accompaniment to folk-singing and dancing and as a solo instrument. Welsh people are famous for their singing and their music festivals.

  • ^ A lovespoon is a wooden spoon carved by a young man and presented to his sweetheart as a token of his affection. The earliest surviving specimen is dated 1667 but the custom was widespread in Wales before that date. The spoon may be plain or decorated by various symbols – birds, hearts, wheels, balls – each representing different meanings of good luck, the blessing children, wealth, health, etc. Nowadays, lovespoons are not given so often as a token of affection, but are a popular souvenir of Wales.

Languages


There are two official languages in Wales, Welsh and English, although English is usually spoken. Welsh is a Celtic language. Its roots are lost in time, but it is regarded some scholars to be Europe's oldest living language. In many parts of Wales at least seven out of ten people are Welsh speaking, and use Welsh as their first language at home and at work. There is a growing interest in learning the language. Adult courses are widely available. The Welsh language has some very long place names which consist almost of consonant letters; look at this sign!
^

Welsh National costume


Welsh National costume evolved in Wales in the late 18th century as a development of costume worn in town and country. The typical female costume, as designed and made popular by Lady Llanover, was made up of the following:

Tall hat, made out of hard board with thin beaver fabric glued on to it, white cap, worn under the hat, made of cotton or muslin with long frilled lappets extending down the shoulders, bedgown, petticoat, small shawl, cloak, apron. The garments are made of Welsh flannel. The costume is usually worn by young girls throughout Wales on St David's Day.
^

Tourist attractions


Wales is a land of lakes, rivers and coastline. Holiday makers love the beautiful Welsh beaches, and the mountains of Snowdonia are popular too. Hike Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales. The ancient castles are also big tourist attractions.

  • Snowdonia National Park, a very beautiful area in the North. Travel to the top of Mount Snowdon – on foot or, by the Snowdon Mountain Railway!



  • St David's, on the west coast. Visit the famous cathedral and enjoy the long, beautiful beaches. See fantastic sea life at the Oceanarium and the Marine Life Centre and a boat trip to Ramsey Island.



  • Cardiff, the capital of Wales and a busy port. An excellent shopping centre with first class restaurants and cafes. Great parks and museums. Don't miss Techniquest, a science museum for the whole family.



© Лындина Галина Ивановна, 2010





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