The word "Eisteddfod" is a declension of the Welsh verb "eistedd" that means to be sit. This is because the audience remains seated during the festival for many hours (for example from about two o`clock in the afternoon to six in the evening and from seven to half past twelve in the evening) while the competitions take place.
This festival comes from the Druids -from Wales, but as in our province, Chubut, there`s a big Welsh colony, they brought with them this custom, among others, to celebrate the Eisteddfod at least twice a year. It is belived that it dates as far back as the sixth century, although in Patagonia it started only by late 1800s.
In our province the Eisteddfod takes place twice a year. It`s a complete event which includes competitions in music, poetry and recitation in Welsh, Spanish and English, between others.
There are two key moments during the festival. One is when the best poem in Spanish is awarded and the winner receives a silver crown and an amount of money. The other important moment is given to the person who has written the best poem in Welsh. This ceremony to honour the poet is in Welsh and it belongs to the Bard. It a religious ceremony asking for peace, health and God. The winner gets a carved wooden chair (Bard armchair) and an amount of cash.
Both of them are preceded by toreclwig ceremonies which includes a procession of poets with a special music and dance in honor of the winners.
For many years the festival took place in the Saint David hall, which was built at the beginning of the century by the first Welsh settlers. But nowdays we don`t use it, because it`s become too small for the increasing audiences.
In our province, this festival takes place twice a year, and it`s divided in two categories. The first is generally in September, it`s called "The youth Eisteddfod", because it is for children and young people up to the age of twenty-five. This event takes place in Gaiman (a town fifteen kilometres from Trelew) in the Bethel Chapel. The second -the most important- is here in our city - Trelew-. It`s very big and people can participate from the age twenty-five onwards, they come from different parts of Argentina and some other countries. The standards are quite high. Some members of the jury come from Wales and some others are important celebrities in music and poetry of our country.
There`s a lot to say, but specially to see, but rather come and see for yourself. We know you will enjoy everything.
Ibañez Cecilia Sanchez Camacho Lucia
Vazquez Pellegrini Victoria
8º Año Padre Juan Muzio School