I had been hearing the bagpipes a couple of streets away, then fortunately found the source.
Bagad Kadoudal had traveled across the channel to join in the parade. Now they were about to give an impromptu performance.
A crowd had been drawn into the little park by the church, where we watched them warm up. Visitors to the city, in a variety of accents, openly asked questions. Just as openly, the watching Welsh answered them. It felt special to be there.
The Breton players were finally ready, bagpipers, pipers and drummers fell into formation. In typical Celtic fashion, as soon as we heard the music, we followed. They only took us around the corner, then congregated around the Owain Glyndŵr pub to lead with a series of reels.
I couldn't help my feet moving. Neither could a Welsh lady across the circle. Without any prior planning, we were dancing together with the musicians nodding in smiling encouragement. It wasn't long before we were teaching tourists how to move their feet in the Celtic style.
More and more people joined in, including Breton men and women, who'd arrived with the band. I didn't know that there was a difference between Welsh and Breton traditional dancing. The styles are obviously related, but in Brittany it's a little more understated. We ended up with a fusion of the two.
Those not dancing helped keep the time with clapping and stamping their feet. It was quite a crowd that gathered there!
I was struck by the gathering of the Celtic tribes here too. Welsh and Breton danced together, before a public house dedicated to the greatest of Welsh heroes, on St David's Day too. But two doors away was the Cornish pasty shop; and beyond that O'Neill's Irish bar.
All that was missing were the Basque, Manx and Scots. The latter turned up towards the end - two men in Highland plaid, talking in broad Glaswegian accents - cheering as they saw what must have looked like a spontaneous céilidh.
Thank you very much! <3
Beautiful place! Excellent article! Interesting subject! What else to say? :)
Your version is so much better than mine! Do you mind if I include it?
I pieced together the footage from the parade pretty quickly, but I think it came out pretty well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il_7kv...
*big hugs back* We'll count 'at some point during the day encountering Celts or Celtic culture', which includes Gaels and Glaswegians. <3 (If, of course, you want that to count!)
"celebrating saint david's day elsewhere" is a bit of a stretch. I was aware of it, because I'd read it in your articles though. Big hugs. xx
Yes, there is something that you can do. You can fly to Britain, so I can finally take you around Cymru. We'll share a Welsh cake or three on the banks of the Taff.
So sorry for your loss, cariad, say the word if there's anything I can do.
It's always on March 1st, whatever day that falls. Give it a couple of years and that will be a weekend, so you'll have chance to go. :)
We'd love to go if my son wasn't at school. I have some Welsh blood and my partner grew up just outside Cardiff so we have a connection. Sorry to hear about your bereavement.