August 3 - National Eisteddfod of Wales

Posted on August 3, 2013

Hundreds of tents, pavilions, and stands have been put up in several grassy fields in Wales. 

Parking lots of sorts have been created in other fields. 

People have been arriving, and many of them have set up their own tents to live in for the week. 

A stone circle has been created.

And now the contests begin!

The National Eisteddfod is a festival of Welsh literature, music, and performance. The most important part of the week, arguably, is the crowning of the winning poet, the chairing of the winning bard, and the awarding of a medal for the winning prose.

In addition to these three awards, there are concerts and shows and plays and a dance hall. There are shops and stalls devoted to various organizations and charities.

I read that the festival has a druidic flavor, with bards in long, flowing white or blue or green robes, dancing “maidens,” and trumpet fanfares. There is a symbolic Horn of Plenty from which the winners drink before they accept their crowns or medals, along with baskets of flowers.

By the way, you probably know that Wales is part of the United Kingdom and that almost all people who live there know English. What sets the Eisteddfod apart from most other festivals in the U.K. is that it celebrates the Welsh language. The competing poetry and prose are in Welsh, and the award ceremony is in Welsh, and all the other contests and activities are held in Welsh, as well.

For more on the Welsh language (including its seeming shortage of vowels), check out this earlier post

What - or who - were druids?

The ancient people who lived in Britain, Ireland, and Gual (now France and bits of other modern European nations) were the Celts, and the wise men of the Celts were the druids. Druids acted as doctors, priests, and judges, and they basically were also the professors and academics of their society, as well.

To learn more about druids, check out Mr. Donn's description and links.

Also on this date:

Bones, Bones, and More Bones Day

Anniversary of the first watercraft to reach the North Pole

Plan ahead:

Here are my Pinterest pages on August holidayshistorical anniversaries in August, and August birthdays.

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