St. David is the patron saint of Wales and March 1st is celebrated as his saints day and a patriotic & cultural festival by the Welsh. The leek is the national flower of Wales. Welsh people all over the world proudly wear the stalk, flower or a bit of leaf from a leek plant on March 1st.
The daffodil is quite a bit easier to find, yet the leaves look similar, so many use daffodils instead. It is now common to find both Leeks and Daffodils as national emblems for Wales.
History and Legend
‘Today the Welsh wear a leek in memory of some ancient battle against the Saxons where Bishop David advised them to wear leeks on their hats to distinguish themselves from their enemies. Swords clashed as the men of Wales fought on for hours try to protect their land from the Saxon invaders. Despite their great efforts, the Welsh were slowly losing. In the heat of the battle it was difficult to tell friend from foe. The fact that both sides wore similar clothing made the fight all the more confusing.
A monk noticed that this was becoming a grave problem. As the Welsh lost more and more ground, the monk cried out to them, “Welshmen, you must mark yourselves so that you can better tell who is Saxon and who is Welsh. The monk plucked a leek plant from the ground and continued, “Here, wear these so you will know that any soldier who does not have a leek is your enemy.”
Some of the soldiers thought this was a rather odd idea, but the monk was one of God’s men so they went along with it. Soon every Welsh soldier was wearing a leek on his helmet. They attacked the invaders and before long, the Welsh had won the battle.
The monk who came up with the idea of wearing a leek was named David. David died on March 1st. After he died, the Catholic Church made him a saint.’
Read more about Leeks on Gardeners Tips