Celebrating Our Spirituality 365 A Day – August 18, Eisteddfod

Pentagram Book of Shadows

August 18th


The Eisteddfod is an assembly of Welsh poets and musicians that compete for an “eisteddfa” or bardic chair. This traditional festival is so important that it is announced 13 months in advance. From as early as the sixth century, the bards of Wales–who were the harpers, genealogists, and soothsayers, as well as court poets and story-tellers—are reported engaging in embittered disputes. Their special status was recognized by law so that formal competitions were used to settle differences. It was at Cardigan in 1176 when the Lord Rhys presented chairs to the winning poet and best performers on the harp, pipe, and fiddle. The Eisteddfod became a way to rate bards and thus distinguish them from the non-bardic traveling ministrals or vagabonds. Overseen by modern Druids, the festival attracts thousands of people even today, and though many awards are give for a number of categories, the place of honor is still reserved for original poetry.