St. David’s Day 2021 – Today’s Doodle is illustrated by Welsh guest artist Elin Manon and inspired by the legend of Dinas Emrys—one of Wales’ most famous historic tales—celebrating St. David’s Day.
Myth has it that in the fifth century, a Celtic king named Vortigen discovered what he thought was the perfect place to build his castle on the Welsh hillside. However, Myrddin Emrys (Merlin, the wizard) convinced Vortigen that there was a catch—a large fire-breathing one! The spot he had chosen was directly above the lair of two slumbering dragons; one red, one white. Upon the castle’s construction, the two dragons were found in a fierce battle. The red dragon emerged victorious and returned to rest in his subterranean lair, allowing Vortigen to complete the building of his fortress once the dust had settled.
The red dragon has since become an immortal symbol of the Welsh people and St. David’s Day, along with the daffodil—the yellow flower surrounding it in the Doodle artwork. Although the tale of Dinas Emrys may sound like nothing but fantasy, a 1945 excavation of the site found remains of a fortress dating back to Vortigen’s time.
So take caution if you ever plan to venture to the ruins of Dinas Emrys… you may awaken a dragon.
Happy St. David’s Day!
Guest Artist Q&A with Elin Manon
Today’s Doodle was illustrated by Welsh guest artist Elin Manon. Below, she shares her thoughts behind the making of this Doodle
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: Having grown up in Wales, surrounded by the language, culture and traditions, as well as receiving my education in Welsh, the topic of this Doodle was important to me as it reflects something that was so much a part of my childhood and also of my identity today. It also means a lot to me that our heritage and customs are being promoted in this way.
Gan fod mod i wedi tyfu lan yng Nghymru, gyda’r iaith, diwylliant a thraddodiadau, yn ogystal â derbyn fy addysg trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, roedd pwnc y Doodle yma yn bwysig i mi gan ei fod yn adlewyrchu’r hyn oedd yn rhan fawr o fy mhlentyndod a hefyd fy hunaniaeth heddiw. Mae hi hefyd yn golygu gymaint i mi fod ein diwylliant ac arferion yn cael eu hybu yn y ffordd yma.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: I couldn’t believe it at first! I thought ‘they can’t really be contacting little me to work on this project’. As soon as I understood it was actually real, I was so excited—what an amazing opportunity to share my heritage and culture on such a renowned platform, and to work on a project that I would never have imagined that I’d be a part of.
Wn i fethu credu hi i ddechrau! Wnes i feddwl ‘dydyn nhw ddim o ddifri yn cysylltu â fi bach i weithio ar y prosiect yma’. Ond unwaith sylweddolais ei fod yn go iawn wn i wir wedi cyffro – am gyfle anhygoel i fedru rhannu fy nhreftadaeth a diwylliant ar blatfform mor adnabyddus, ac i weithio ar brosiect fuaswn i byth wedi dychmygu fy hun yn cymryd rhan ynddo.
Q: Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: In addition to drawing inspiration from the natural mountainous landscape of Wales, I was also influenced by the Welsh legend of Dinas Emrys. In the legend King Vortigern wished to build a castle on top of the hill of Dinas Emrys, but the walls would fall and crumble each night. The wizard Merlin told him that this was because there were two dragons fighting beneath the hill. So Vortigen’s men dug and dug, eventually releasing the two dragons, one white and one red. The two dragons fought, with the white dragon eventually fleeing and the red dragon returning to his lair to slumber.
Yn ogystal â thynnu ysbrydoliaeth o dirlun naturiol mynyddig Cymru, wn i hefyd wedi’i fy nylanwadu gan y chwedl Gymreig o Ddinas Emrys. Yn y chwedl mae’r Brenin Gwrtheyrn am adeiladu castell ar ben bryn Dinas Emrys, ond pob nos roedd y waliau’n chwalu i ddarnau. Dwedodd y dewin Myrddin wrtho roedd hyn oherwydd bod yna dwy ddraig yn ymladd o dan y bryn. Felly fe wnaeth dynion Gwrtheyrn palu a phalu, yn y diwedd yn rhyddhau’r ddwy ddraig, un gwyn ac un coch. Ymladdodd y ddwy ddraig, a gorffennodd gyda’r ddraig wen yn ffoi a’r ddraig goch yn dychwelyd i’w gwâl i gysgu.
Q: What do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: I hope for those who are perhaps unaware of all that Wales has to offer, that this Doodle will inspire them to delve into its culture and will enlighten people about the diversity of heritage and language that we have here within the UK.
Dwi’n gobeithio i’r rhai sy efallai yn anymwybodol o’r holl bethau mae gan Gymru i gynnig, fydd y Doodle yma yn eu ysbrydoli nhw i dyrchu mewn i’w ddiwylliant ac yn goleuo pobl ynghylch amrywiaeth y dreftadaeth a’r ieithoedd sydd i’w gael yn y Deyrnas Unedig.
You can find more about St. David’s Day 2021 on the official Google Doodle Page