eisteddfod was our Word of the Day on 08/01/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
In Medieval times, Welsh bards and minstrels would assemble together for an eisteddfod (the Welsh word for "session") of poetry and music competition. Over time, participation and interest in these competitions lessened, and by the 17th century an eisteddfod was far from the courtly affair it once was. The competition was revived in the 19th century as a way to showcase Wales's artistic culture. It was also in that century that an official council was formed to organize the annual National Eisteddfod of Wales, an event still held each summer alternately in North or South Wales. There are awards for music, prose, drama, and art, but the one for poetry remains the eisteddfod's pinnacle.
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