THREE CHAIRS for the EISTEDDFOD!





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This coming Saturday I will be compete in a local Eisteddfod in the little town of Llanidloes (that's thrown the spell check!). Our local Welsh speaking minister has put together a humorous 10 minute play centred around a group of Welsh learners taking part in a Service - (in fact we have been having a monthly Welsh learners service with him). The people in the congregation are asked which season of the year they enjoy most .. the responses are always so positive, but, one of the group always seems to bring up an objection ... followed by a groan of 'Oh, David!!!!' from the congregation. [This is the kind of moment where YOU HAVE TO BE THERE]
Although short it has singing, solo's, poetry of a Welsh kind and humour. The Eisteddfod is at the heart of Welsh culture as it a celebration of all that is Welsh. Here's a bit about from Wiki.

The date of the first Eisteddfod is a matter of much debate among scholars, but boards for the judging of poetry definitely existed in Wales from at least as early as the twelfth century, and it is likely that the ancient Celtic bards had formalized ways of judging poetry as well.The first Eisteddfod can be traced back to 1176, under the auspices of Lord Rhys, at his castle in Cardigan. There he held a grand gathering to which were invited poets and musicians from all over the country. A chair at the Lord's table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that prevails in the modern day National Eisteddfod. The earliest large scale Eisteddfod that can be proven beyond all doubt to have taken place, however, was the Carmarthen Eisteddfod, which took place in 1451. The next recorded large-scale eisteddfod was held in Caerwys in 1568. The prizes awarded were a miniature silver chair to the successful poet, a little silver crwth to the winning fiddler, a silver tongue to the best singer, and a tiny silver harp to the best harpist. Originally, the contests were limited to professional Welsh bards who were paid by the nobility. To ensure the highest standard possible, Elizabeth I of England commanded that the bards be examined and licensed. As interest in the Welsh arts declined, the standard of the main eisteddfod deteriorated as well and they became more informal. In 1789, Thomas Jones organised an eisteddfod in Corwen where for the first time the public were admitted. The success of this event led to a revival of interest in Welsh literature and music. (Wikipedia info)

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