eisteddfod (Īstĕħˈvəd, –vôd) [key] [Welsh, = session], Welsh competitive festival. Contests traditionally are held in all the arts and crafts, with special emphasis on music and poetry. The National Eisteddfod is held annually for one week in August, alternately in the north and the south, but local eisteddfods are held throughout Wales during the year. A historical institution (12th cent.), it is important in maintaining national feeling and preserving the Welsh language and culture and is enthusiastically supported by the Welsh. Its outstanding ceremony is the "chairing" of the winning bard. The bardic assembly (gorsedd) has been a part of the National Eisteddfod since 1819. The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, begun in 1947 at Llangollen, Denbighshire, is held annually in July, and features choral, instrumental, and folk music and dance performed by some 4,000 artists.
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