Video: The Welsh Have Their Day In Budapest

  • 16 Mar 2010 7:00 AM
Video: The Welsh Have Their Day In Budapest
Before Monday, 1 March, my only connection with the little country in the southwestern UK was a joke t-shirt I once had with the logo 'Save the Wales' emblazoned across its chest. And I watched the Welsh rugby side beat England at Twickenham a few years ago. Otherwise, nothing. So I was flattered to be recently invited to the first ever St. David’s Day celebration here in Budapest.

Red Dragon and Daffodil lapel pins were given to guests as they arrived at this celebration of ''Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant' (Day of the Festival of Saint David), which is celebrated around the world as the Welsh National Day.

Always on the first day of March, although sometimes the celebration goes on for several days, it’s named after David, the Abbot of Ty Ddewi, who died on 1 March 589AD, the patron saint of Wales. And a gala festival it was in Hungary this year. combined with main sponsor REED, who were officially represented on the night by Matt Foster, to hold the gala gathering at the Corinthia Grand Hotel in downtown Budapest.

There was a scrumptious buffet dinner, including traditional Welsh dishes such as Glamorgan sausages, Cawl Cennin soup, Welsh rarebit, and Bara Brith. These were served alongside other tasty treats like Salmon terrine, leg of lamb, honey carrots glazed and rosemary sauce, potato pie with red beet pickles, apple pie and sticky toffee pudding.

Patrick McMenamin
of the Caledonia Pub also supplied some smooth Welsh whiskey to top off the meal.

Cultural highlights included a choral presentation by the Banchieri Singers, a six-voice vocal emsemble that performed in Welsh, English and Hungarian. A special attraction of the night was a reading by John Asquith from the UK, who gave a wonderful rendition in English of ‘The Bards of Wales’ ballad by Hungarian poet János Arany. Both these performances were sponsored by Concert Masters International.

The Welsh National Anthem was sung in Welsh and English, and there was even a Welsh quiz hosted by Llyr Roberts, with prizes from Holmes Place in Budapest. Intellicom provided guests a chance to phone family and friends in Wales, and anywhere in the world, for free.

Many guest, including guests of honour HM Ambassador Greg Dorey and Hungarian Academy of Sciences President Professor József Pálinkás, spoke very positively about the celebration.

“A great idea for an event, very well organised with a great turn out - even after 9pm there is still a room full of people! A great success! Well done to Stephen Linfitt the organiser,” HM Ambassador Dorey.

"Congrats, very impressive event!" Patrick McMenamin.

"An unforgettable, beautiful night, arranged superbly!" Apagyine Gaspar Jolan.

"Thank you very much for a fun evening. A lot of lovely people here tonight." Willy Benko.

"Great event!" Steven Kuhn, "Great night," Llyr Roberts, "Great event, all went very well, " Adrian Ellis.

“Another quality event from at the Corinthian Grand Hotel - looking forward to the next one!” David Trayford.

All in all it was a truly great celebration for the Welsh, and everyone there, which included lots of Hungarians and expats of many nationalities. 200 or so guests enjoyed every aspect of the evening, and everyone went away with a beautiful daffodil, given to guests as a farewell gift, a nice final touch.

Here's a warm ‘ddiolch 'ch’ to the organizer of the event, and to all the sponsors for helping make it happen. How about another Welsh celebration sometime soon, what about a 'Save the Wales Day'  - I already have the t-shirt. Anyway, here's to 1 March 2011!

Words by Gary Lukatch for

Click here to see an event photo gallery

Click here to see the videos from the event

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