Are you off to the maes?

By | Category: Travel destinations

The 2019 National Eisteddfod began the Conwy valley on Saturday near the village of Llanrwst.

The main pavilion at the National Eisteddfod.

So what you might ask; I don’t speak Welsh so why should I visit a Welsh language event?

The answer to that is because although Welsh is the mainstream language of the event, you don’t have to understand Welsh to enjoy many parts of it. Take the music for example. How many readers understand Italian or German when they go to an opera by Puccini or Wagner? You listen to the music and how it was sung and enjoy it for that reason.

The same applies to the art. There will be a display of contemporary art and that obviously that requires no knowledge of Welsh to enjoy.

There are a number of pavilions on what is known as the maes or field in English. There will you find stalls selling books, food, clothing, souvenirs, arts and crafts, jewellery along with universities hosting hospitality tents for past and future students. There will be areas for the kids to enjoy and buses will link visitors to and from the Eisteddfod to the nearest transport points.

Yes there will be poetry and storytelling and that will be in Welsh; there will be the bards dressed in white, turquoise and maroon and there will be a strong sense of Welshness. It will be quite a sight but how many non-Welsh speaking visitors have seen it?

At the Eisteddfod proclamation for 2020 last month

Be different this August.

The National Eisteddfod is on for another week and during that time about 150,000 will visit. Last year when the eisteddfod was held in Cardiff Bay, half a million people came and a proportion of those would not know any Welsh.

You’ll find it is a different holiday experience and it will give you bragging rights. After all, how many people do you know that have been before?

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