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  • Eisteddfod - Eisteddfod Genedlaethol 2023

    What is the Eisteddfod?

    The Eisteddfod Today

    The National Eisteddfod is an annual Welsh cultural festival that celebrates the arts, language, and heritage of Wales. It is a unique event and one of the major annual events in Wales. Jump to the History of the Eisteddfod, click here...

    National Eisteddfod - Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru

    The Eisteddfod is.

    • A cultural festival, held through the medium of Welsh, which provides a national stage for music, dance, the visual arts, original performances, family activities and all kinds of competitions, in a welcoming, fun and unique environment.
    • A festival which lasts for 8 full days at the beginning of August attracting over 150,000 visitors and 6,000 competitors.
    • A colourful¬†Maes¬†with a pavilion as the focus for the competing and the ceremonies, with hundreds of activities happening across the field.
    • A community project¬†in a part of Wales which lasts for two years.
    • The location changes every year, alternating between north and south Wales.
    • Over 250 trade stands.

    The Welsh language is an integral and important part of the Eisteddfod, but the festival is much more than a Welsh language event. You don’t need to speak Welsh to get involved and make the most of the Eisteddfod’s visit, but why not find out more about how to offer a Welsh and bilingual service, and make the most of the help available to get you started?

    The Eisteddfod works in partnership with the Welsh Local Government Association to plan the festival’s locations over a number of years, working closely with the local authorities in the area for at least two years before the Eisteddfod is held. 

    The decision to visit an area is announced two years in advance, and the committees and fundraising structures are put in place and the local work begins. 


    Types of Eisteddfodau (Plural of Eisteddfod).

    There are many different types of Eisteddfodau held in Wales each year.

    • The most famous is the National Eisteddfod of Wales
    • Urdd Eisteddfod, which is held for young people in Wales, and the local eisteddfodau, which are held in communities throughout Wales
    • Llangollen¬†International Musical¬†Eisteddfod. An inspirational, international cultural festival to sing and dance in a unique combination of competition, performance, and international peace and friendship.
    • At a local level in Wales, there are¬†hundreds of eisteddfodau similar to the larger eisteddfodau but on a much smaller scale.


    National Eisteddfod - Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru - Pavilion

    Eisteddfod Competitions

    The eisteddfod is a competitive event, and there are many different competitions held each year. Some of the most popular competitions include:

    • Poetry
    • Music
    • Dance
    • Art
    • Drama

    Competitors in the eisteddfod are judged by a panel of experts, and the winners are awarded prizes. The prizes are often cash prizes, but they can also be trophies, certificates, or other awards.

    The main highlight of the Eisteddfod is the Gorsedd of Bards ceremony. The Gorsedd is a group of poets, writers, musicians, and artists who are honored for their contributions to Welsh culture. During the ceremony, new members are initiated into the Gorsedd, and important literary and artistic awards are presented.


    Eisteddfod Events

    In addition to the competitions, the eisteddfod also features a wide range of events, including:

    • Concerts
    • Plays
    • Dance performances
    • Art exhibitions
    • Storytelling sessions

    The eisteddfod is a great opportunity to experience Welsh culture and heritage. It is a fun and family-friendly event, and it is sure to have something for everyone.


    National Eisteddfod - Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru - Gorsedd y Beirdd

    Eisteddfod in the Media

    The eisteddfod is a major cultural event in Wales, and it is often covered by the media. The BBC, S4C, and other media outlets broadcast the eisteddfod live, and they also feature stories about the event in their news coverage.

    The eisteddfod is also a popular topic for books, magazines, and websites. There are many books about the history of the eisteddfod, and there are also magazines and websites that focus on Welsh culture and heritage.


    National Eisteddfod - Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru - Pavilion Ceremonies

    History of the Eisteddfod

    The National Eisteddfod has a long history dating back to the 12th century with the first recorded Eisteddfod held in 1176 at Cardigan Castle. The eisteddfod's modern history dates back to 1861. It was founded by Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd, a Welsh prince, who wanted to promote the Welsh language and culture. The eisteddfod was a success, and it quickly became a popular event in Wales. The festival has been held every year, other than 1914, when the outbreak of the First World War saw it postponed for a year. 

    The eisteddfod was revived in the 18th century by the Gwyneddigion Society, a Welsh cultural organization based in London. In the 18th century, Iolo Morganwg, a Welsh poet and antiquarian. Morganwg added new elements to the eisteddfod, such as the Gorsedd of the Bards, a druidic order that celebrates Welsh culture and heritage.

    Today, the eisteddfod is one of the most important cultural events in Wales. It is held every year in a different part of Wales, and it attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The eisteddfod features a wide range of competitions and events, including poetry, music, dance, art, and drama.


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