With only a week and a half to go before the Anglesey National Eisteddfod Proclamation Festival, people across the island are busily preparing for a memorable day.
The Proclamation is held in Holyhead, with a stage set up in the town centre for performances by local choirs, schools and dancers, giving a taste of what’s to come in a year’s time when the Eisteddfod itself is held.
In line with tradition, a procession is held in early afternoon, including representatives from a wide range of local organisations and the Gorsedd of the Bards, to welcome the Eisteddfod to the area, and to welcome the area to the Eisteddfod. The procession starts from Holyhead High School soon after 14.00 and will walk through the town to Holyhead Park, where the highlight of the day, the Proclamation Ceremony will be held.
Historically, the Eisteddfod’s intention to visit an area must be proclaimed at least a year and a day before the beginning of the festival. This is when the List of Competitions is published, which includes information for anyone wishing to compete this year.
The Archdruid, who is head of the Gorsedd, leads this important ceremony, and the chairman of the local executive committee, Derec Llwyd Morgan, will present the first copy of the List of Competitions to the Archdruid. Once the list has been presented, the competitions will be made public and copies will go on sale in shops across Wales as well as at the event itself.
A new Archdruid will be honoured during this year’s ceremony. Archdruid Christine’s period has now come to an end and Archdruid Geraint Llifon will officiate for the next three years.
A group of young girls from the area will also be taking part in the ceremony as flower girls. The Flower Dance is a colourful part of all the Gorsedd ceremonies, with 8-10 year old girls performing a dance based on the patterns of collecting flowers from the meadows and fields. The girls have been rehearsing for weeks, and will be performing for the first time in Holyhead Park.
A number of other activities will be held near the stages in the town centre during the day, with stands and stalls organised by local groups and a chance to buy the Eisteddfod’s own merchandise.
Executive Chairman, Derec Llwyd Morgan says, “The aim of the day is to raise awareness of what’s to come next year, and to give people a taste of the Eisteddfod. It’s also a chance for some of our local talents to perform and let’s hope this will give them the confidence to compete in the Eisteddfod itself next year.
“We’ve been hard at work locally for a number of months, raising awareness and money and it’s great to see so much support for the Eisteddfod here already. Thank you to everyone who’s already been part of the preparation and thank you to Anglesey Council who have shown us great support from the beginning. It bodes well for the next few months and I hope people from all over Wales will join us for the Proclamation at the end of the month.”
A Cymanfa Ganu (congregational singing festival) will be held at Hyfrydle Chapel, Holyhead on Sunday evening 26 June at 19.30 to celebrate the Proclamation, and all are welcome to attend.
The Anglesey National Eisteddfod is held near Bodedern from 4-12 August. For more information go online, www.eisteddfod.wales.