A Time for Celebration
It isn’t even half way through March and already I have been bombarded with celebrations (not that I am complaining!). Immediately March 1st the festivities began. The celebration of St. David’s day started with a parade that ran from city hall, through city center and concluded at Cardiff Castle. People were dressed in traditional Welsh wear as classic Welsh emblems of daffodils and leeks saturated the streets. To join in the spirit, I couldn’t help but buy a daffodil pin to embrace my current Welsh-ness. The parade had performers of all sorts: dancing children, bicyclists, marching bands, a chorus of men as well as these huge paper mâché floats of famous UK figures.
After the parade concluded we went into town in search of free Welsh cakes that we were told would be handed out in one of the arcades (which is how they refer to streets malls). Unfortunately by the time we got there, the Welsh cakes were nowhere to be found. However, some women dressed in traditional wear did hand us each a daffodil. As we began our walk to the castle to take advantage of the free admissions, we couldn’t help but stop at the special farmers market that was going on. We managed to find food stands, which resulted in us taking a few…okay, A LOT of free samples! We probably managed to eat the cheese stand out of an entire wheel by the time we left. Once we got to the castle we couldn’t help but take endless amounts of pictures of the castle and the land within the stonewalls. It was an absolutely gorgeous and warm day (which can’t always be expected with the Welsh rain). It was amazing to see the pride the people of Wales took in the festivities and celebration of their patron saint.
The following Tuesday was Pancake Day – the UK version of Fat Tuesday, except you literally just eat pancakes, upon pancakes, upon more pancakes! The consistency of a UK pancake is different than those of the United States. It is much thinner, and more like a crepe than a fluffy, thick American pancake. Also, pancakes can be sweet or savory so the combinations of flavors can literally be endless.
A girl in my course invited a few of us to join in the pancake affair at her house with the instructions to bring toppings of all kinds – the weirder the better. Our choices ranged from bacon and maple syrup to marshmallow fluff and Nutella as well as the traditional chocolate and fruit toppings. I tried a savory pancake of bacon, Brie and maple syrup as well as a sweet pancake of peanut butter, Nutella and fresh fruit – YUM!!! In all honesty, both were winners in my book! I even got a few of my UK friends to give the classic American staple of PB&J a try on one!
I don’t quite know of all of the adventures to come, but I can’t wait to see what the rest of March brings!
‘Til Next Time!