What's the Eisteddfod?
Eistedd is the verb 'to sit' - and yes, that’s the root of the
word 'eisteddfod' - where everybody sits down together.
The National Eisteddfod of Wales is a competitive festival that's held annually during the first full week of August.
The festival travels and is held on alternate years in north and south Wales. Over 175,000 people usually attend.
On the field you'll see a big-top Pavilion and a range of market stalls spread over several acres of land. Also you will see marketing stands for various organisations and television stations which televise various parts of the event throughout the week.
Around 6,000 musicians, bards, performers and artists compete. The most famous ceremony is called Y Cadeirio (The Chairing) where a chair is given to the winning bard in the presence of the Orsedd (a group of respected Welsh figures dressed up in toga-like costumes. More about the Gorsedd ...)
Although the Eisteddfod is mono-lingually Welsh, there are free translation facilities available at the entrance and English synopses are printed in the programme. Welsh language learners will head for Pabell y Dysgwyr - a whole marquee devoted to their needs.
Another highlight is Cymru a'r Byd - Wales and the World - where Welsh people returning during Eisteddfod week take to the stage for an emotional ceremony to say 'welcome home'.
Catchphrase Eisteddfod Guide home