With only a few days to go before the Cardiff National Eisteddfod Proclamation Festival, preparations are well underway for a memorable day.
The Proclamation is held in the civic centre, with a stage set up on the lawn outside City Hall, for a wide range of performances during the day, providing 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 National Museum Cardiff soon after 14.00 and will walk through the city centre back to the lawn outside City Hall, 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, Ashok Ahir, 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 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 on Saturday.
Executive Chair, Ashok Ahir says, “This is one of the Eisteddfod’s traditions, and a colourful celebration of what’s in store. This celebration has changed very little over the years, and this is what makes it unique and very traditional.
“Our work over the next year is to convince the people of Cardiff that the Eisteddfod itself, the week at the beginning of August, is far from traditional, and that we’ve changed and developed over the years, creating a vibrant and forward-thinking modern festival, considered to be one of the UK’s largest music and arts festival. Competitions are at the heart of everything we do, but there are also hundreds of events and activities happening around the Maes, celebrating all cultural genres.
“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 the 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 Tabernacle Church on the Hayes on Sunday evening 25 June at 19.30 to celebrate the Proclamation, and all are welcome to attend.
The Cardiff National Eisteddfod is held in the Bay from 3-11 August. For more information go online, www.eisteddfod.wales.