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Do you know what a cwtch is? What about a cranachan?

Greetings boys and girls. Clovis reporting again.

During January, there is a day in the United Kingdom that you can devote to love, poetry and great food. That day is the 25th. In Wales, it is the day of Saint Dwynwen, who lived in the 5th century. She grew up in Brecon and later in her life established a church in Anglesey. She is the patron saint of lovers. Legend has it that she renounced to Maelon, the man she loved, because her father was against their marriage. According to author Siân Lewis, she turned Maelon into ice. The angels offered to grant her three wishes. Dwynwen prayed for the ice to melt so that Maelon could be set free, she also asked never to marry. Nevertheless, she wished to be of assistance to people who truly loved each other.

The day of Saint Dwynwen (Dydd Santes Dwynwen in Welsh) is a bit of a Welsh version of the internationally famous Saint Valentine’s Day. Just remember, on Saint Dwynwen’s you can always give someone a “cwtch”, which roughly means a hug or a cuddle!

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Welsh dragon in Caernarfon, North Wales.

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Wolfy outside the Smallest House in Great Britain (Conwy, North Wales). Notice the tinsel heart in the window! There is more on the Smallest House in Great Britain to come, so watch this space!

Now, let’s travel further North to Bonny Scotland. On the 25th of January, 1759 Robert Burns, known in his homeland as The Bard, was born. Burns is the most loved Scottish poet of all time, his poems are written in Scots dialect. You may have heard “Auld Lang Syne”, one of his most famous works. It is actually a song that is very popular on New Year’s Eve. Have a listen to this modern version with lyrics, so that you can sing along:

On January 25th, many people in the United Kingdom celebrate Burns Night with a wonderful supper. I quite enjoyed the cranachan cheesecake. By the way, cranachan is a Scottish dessert made of oatmeal, raspberries, honey and sometimes a dash of whisky!

We selected a couple of cranachan recipes from BBC – Food for you to take a look. Remember: ask a responsible adult like Mum or Dad for help when you are cooking!

Cranachan cheesecake, by Paul Hollywood.

Cranachan dessert, by The Hairy Bikers.

So, many cwtches to you. I am going to sink my teeth into the cranachan leftovers in the fridge.

Pompous regards,

Clovis