Word of the day – eisteddfod

eisteddfod /aɪˈstɛðvəd/ (pl. eisteddfodau), noun – cwrdd cystadleuol, eisteddiad. eisteddfod

Related words
eistedd, verb – gorffwys ar sedd neu gadair, seddu. to sit, to seat
eisteddfa / eisteddle, noun – lle i eistedd, sedd. seat
eisteddfodol, adjective – yn ymweud ag eisteddfod. eisteddfodic, to do with eisteddfodau
eisteddfodwr, noun – un sy’n mynychu eisteddfodau. an eisteddfod-goer

Eisteddfod is one of the few Welsh words that is used in English, at least in the UK. The word is derived from eistedd, to sit/seat. The first eisteddfod was held in 1176 by Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth at his court in Cardigan (Aberteifi), when he invited poets and musicians from all over Wales to a grand gathering. The best poet and best musician were awarded a chair at the Rhys’ table, a tradition that continues to this day.

The modern eisteddfod, which dates back to the late 19th century, is a folk festival featuring music, poetry, dance, drama and literature. Local, small-scale eisteddfodau are held all over Wales, and there a number of larger eisteddfodau, including the National Eisteddfod of Wales or Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, which is held once a year alternating between North and South Wales, and the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod or Eisteddfod Gerddorol Ryngwladol Llangollen, featuring performers and visitors from all over the world, and held annually in Llangollen.

The 2006 National Eisteddfod is currently going on in Swansea (Abertawe), and you can hear live broadcasts from it on Radio Cymru. For details, see: www.eisteddfod.org.uk

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This entry was posted in Language, Welsh, Words and phrases.

5 Responses to Word of the day – eisteddfod

  1. Joseph Staleknight says:

    I wonder what they do with Rhys’ seat of honor nowadays….

  2. I may have missed it, but did you mention what eisteddfod literally means? I’ve never heard that word before.

  3. Joseph Staleknight says:

    Well, “eistedd” means seat, but “fod” is sort of a mystery to me….

  4. Simon says:

    eisteddfod means literally “sitting”, “sitting together” or “gathering”. The “fod” part is a suffix that doesn’t mean anything on its own.

  5. Annette Strauch says:

    fod comes from the verb bod = to be; eisteddfod – to be seated, Annette Strauch