Friday, August 11, 2006

The National Eisteddfod of Wales

I would not be a very patriotic Welshwoman if I did not mention on my blog the fact that this is a very important week in Wales, in fact the most important week in the calendar. It is the week of our National Eisteddfod. It is held at this time every year and is held in a different locality every year, but it must be held in the South of Wales one year and in the North the following. It is invited to an area and this means that the people of that area work very hard for a few years at various things to make enough money to afford a successful festival.

It is attended by thousands of people every day, come rain or sunshine. People stay in caravan camps on the Eisteddfod field and the Eisteddfod itself is held in a very large marquee owned by the eisteddfod. This is a huge marquee and this year it is a bright pink colour, very unusual. It is always important to take Wellington boots with you as it often rains, but this even adds to the fun.

There are all sorts of competitions held, singing, choral and individual and recitation both choral and individual. But there are also brass bands, dancing, art and craft. There are also competitons in composing music, drama, prose and poetry. I am sure I have left out many things, but I'm sure you get the idea.

A bard is crowned and there is a chair for the winning prose. There is a very important ceremony on television at the moment the chairing of the bard. The subject of the competition this year being 'Waves' because the Eisteddfod is being held in Swansea which has ties with the sea. The ceremony is very colourful and exciting.
I am just watching the bard who has won being taken to his chair, dressed in purple robes. He has just been named as Gwynfor ab Ifor.

I could carry on a long time describing all this but I'm certain you have been bored already. These images are from the BBC website. I will try to add more to them when Blogger feels more obliging.


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Carol said...

Hi Margaret,
Would it surprise you to know, that when the Eisteddfod came to Llandudno in the early 60's I was a flower girl, we had to go and pick the flowers fresh from Haulfre Gardens and make a garland for our head and sashes ourselves, we practised our dance in the town hall, missing lessons, oh shame.
That was when the stone circle was put in the Happy Valley
A very special memory.

Beverley said...

This also brings back memories for me from when I was a child living in the Elan Valley and been taken to the Eisteddfod in Llandudno -in the 1950's only time I've ever been. Thanks for bringing back the memory.