History of the Eisteddfod
The Eisteddfod goes back a long way. In fact, the first documented of modern day times was held way back in the year 1176 when it was held in Lord Rhys’s castle under his patronage. The history and traction of this festival though goes way way back longer than this. The Eisteddfod is said to be a reenactment of a far more ancient druidic, Celtic and pagan festival known as Gorsedd. That early festival in 1176 saw many poets and musicians from across Wales come and compete for the honour of being named the best poet and musician. This tradition has continued from that time on to the present.
Background of the Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod has been held for a very long time. In 1861, it was held in Aberdare while in 1900 it was held in Liverpool. In between, this annual festival has been held at several locations across Wales. The festival is held in different parts of Wales alternating between North and South Wales. In 2017, it will be held in Anglesey and in 2018 it is going to be held in Cardiff. Over the years, many gifts and donations have been received and these are added to the prize fund and to general funds of the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Some past winners include Stephen Wilshaw, Caerdydd and Hannah Roberts who both won the Welsh Learner of the Year award.
Importance of the Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod is important because this festival brings both cultural as well as financial rewards to entire Wales. The name Eisteddfod loosely translates to sitting or being together and so the festival marks the coming together of people from various cultures. The festival in 2010 was worth between six and eight million pounds sterling during the week it was held.
Culture of the Welsh people
The culture of the Welsh people is very distinct and includes our unique language as well as music, poetry, arts and old teaching literature and legends. Our country’s symbol is the red coloured Welsh dragon though other symbols are also used including the leek and the daffodil. We have a rich and diverse history and language that spans eons of time. With connections now being made between ancient Sumerian culture and Cymraeg (welsh).
The bardic culture of Wales revolves around bards or story-tellers, verse-makers or music composers who worked for a patron who was normally a monarch or noble. The job of the bard was to commemorate the ancestors of his or her patron. Bards also praised the activities of their patrons. Poets were generally referred to as bards. Some famous bards from Wales include names like Aneirin and Taliesin who were active in the sixth and seventh centuries.
What to expect
Eisteddfod will be held this year between fourth and twelfth August at Anglesey. The festival will be held in the Maes, which lies close to Bodedern village in the northern parts of the Island. Anglesey is convenient for both road and public transport.
What to see
Eisteddfod is going to welcome thousands of guests. Anglesey is a renowned tourist destination that has plenty to offer including traditional beaches and action-packed breaks for those who are looking for adventure. Among the places that are worth seeing we can include Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey Sea Zoo and Menai Suspension Bridge as well as Holyhead Mountain.
How to get there, where to stay & where to get tickets
It is easy to reach Anglesey by road. Chester is just 85 miles from Anglesey while Liverpool is a mere 95 miles away. You can also reach Anglesey by train by taking the London Euston to Holyhead. Alternatively, you can travel from Glasgow to Holyhead by train or you can take any train to the rest of Wales. It is also possible to reach Anglesey by sea and there are also scheduled flights from Anglesey Airport to Cardiff International Airport.
It is possible to stay at either a B&B, self-catering accommodation, or at a caravan site or even a camping site. Buying tickets is easy. Simply, visit Eisteddfod.com and buy your ticket for whichever date suits you. It is possible to book tickets online or by calling 0845 4090 800. There is also a ticket office at the main entrance of Eisteddfod for those who want to purchase their tickets on the day of the festival.