Friday, 25 January 2013

St. Dwynwen's Day

You might look at this title and think "I have never heard of this before". You would not be the only person who might have overlooked this day in recent past, but it turns out St. Dwynwen's Day is gaining in popularity considerably.

"Reveal what it is!", I hear you cry.. Well, St. Dwynwen's Day is the Welsh Valentines Day, and is celebrated on the 25th January. So, who is St. Dwynwen?

St. Dwynwen
St. Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, making her the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine. The story goes that Dwynwen fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had already arranged that she marry another man.

So distraught was Dwynwen, she prayed to God and begged that he make her forget Maelon. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel carrying a potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon, whilst also turning him into a block of ice.

God also granted Dwynwen three wishes. The first was that Maelon be thawed; the second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and the third being that she never marry.

These wishes all came true, and Dwynwen devoted herself to God for the rest of her life, founding a convent off the west coast of Anglesey. It was believed that a well containing fish and eels could foretell whether or not a relationship would be successful, or not. Remains of Dwynwen's church can still be seen to this very day!

Remains of St. Dwynwen's Church

This got us wondering at Mattressman HQ about the history of the mattress, and what the likes of St Dwynwen would have slept on. 

In the Neolithic Era, it is said the first bed and mattress were invented. Beds were raised off the ground, and the mattress consisted of a pile of leaves, grass and/or straw, with animal skins thrown on top. Persian's then came up with the idea of using goats skins filled with water.

It was the Romans, surprise surprise, who made the first real breakthrough in 200 B.C. They managed to use bags of cloth stuffed with reeds, hay and/or wool, whilst the wealthy would pack their bags with feathers. 

This would last until around the 16th century, when mattresses were stuffed with straw or down and actually placed on a timber frame with leather and rope to support the frame. 

NASA invented Memory Foam in the 1970's, which is fairly well known.. However, check out this page to find out some things that you might not have known were invented by Nasa - 10 NASA Inventions

With more snow forecast for the UK today, make sure you take care in the snow, but make sure you have as much fun as Mattressman has been having!