Urdd National Eisteddfod

By | Category: Travel rumblings

To those of you who e-mailed me yesterday pointing out that there was more than one big festival in Wales this week, my thanks for pointing it out. It makes me think that I have more Welsh people reading this website than any other nationality!
The other big festival is an eisteddfod, not the international one held in Llangollen (to which a young Pavarotti came in the 1950’s; this year 6-12 July) nor the Welsh speaking extravaganza that is held each August. (this year, Bala from 1-8 August). No in Cardiff this week at Millennium Centre is the Urdd, the 80th eisteddfod they have held. This is for youth to celebrate all things Welsh and, yes, a lot of it is in Welsh.
Like the other eisteddfodau, the Urdd is cultural as well. People like Bryn Terfel, Connie Fisher, Huw Edwards, Ioan Gruffydd and Cerys Matthews all attended the Urdd in their youth giving them an opportunity to display their undoubted talents. There are composers prizes and literary ones as well as a chairing of the bard ceremony and awards for Welsh language learners.
In my youth, Urdd Gobaith Cymru to give it its full name, had little hold in South East Wales. It was only when I went to Aberystwyth that I came into contact with it. In the last forty years it has seeped into all parts of Wales. It is claimed that a third of all Welsh youth up to about 21 are members. But it is more than about culture and celebrating Welsh heritage. It provides sports for youth with many weekend sessions as well as a much more important aspect; to give to youth an understanding of the world. There is nothing quite like it in England.
So if you are in the bay in Cardiff, drop by this week. If you’ve not been, it might surprise you.

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