The Granville Historical Society will celebrate Granville’s Welsh heritage on March 19, a bit later than St. David’s Day, which is on March 1. St. David’s Day is celebrated on the day of the saint’s death, which was in 589 AD. The dinner and program is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Amelia Room at Kendal at Granville.
The dinner will feature some traditional Welsh cuisine and reservations cost $30. The meal will begin with wine and appetizers. Guests will select from two entrees— Honey Roasted Lamb with Rosemary or Roasted Salmon with citrus sauce. All meals will include potato leek soup, salad, scalloped potatoes, minted peas and gingerbread cake with caramel sauce.
The program will feature Laura Jenkins Gorun, past president of the Welsh Society of Central Ohio and a nationally known carver of Welsh Love Spoons, speaking about the history of Welsh Love Spoons and the meaning of the symbols depicted on them.
Dating back to the 17th century, the oldest example of a Welsh Love Spoon (dated 1667) is on display at the Welsh National Museum in St. Fagans, Wales. Over the generations, many decorative carvings were added to the original utilitarian spoons, which served as proof of a young man’s ability to provide for his intended wife and a family. Carved from one piece of wood, the symbols used on the spoon handles have come to represent such sentiments has good luck, faith, and security. In former days the young woman might have tied the spoon to her apron strings for all to see. In the 21st century, the decorative spoons are given for many special occasions – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, christenings, or housewarmings.
A specially commissioned spoon is being raffled by the Historical Society and carries a daffodil and a leek in recognition of Granville’s long-standing Daffodil Days celebration and the tradition in Wales of wearing a leek on St. David’s Day. (Legend has it that St. David ordered his soldiers to wear a leek as they fought the Saxon invaders in order to distinguish friend from foe. Welsh Army regiments still wear a leek on St. David’s Day.)
The spoon is carved of Buckeye wood and was awarded second place at the Dayton Woodcarvers’ Artistry in Wood competition for Abstract & Ornamental Carvings. The show is one of the largest in the nation with more than 200 exhibitors and the category attracts the most entries. Raffle tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5 and are available at the museum during regular Thursday open hours and at all program events up to & including the St. David’s Day event.