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The Eisteddfod (literally 'sitting') is a Welsh festival of literature, music, and song. The tradition of such a meeting of Welsh artists dates back to at least the 12th century, but the present-day format owes more to a Victorian revival.

The most important eisteddfod is the National Eisteddfod, held annually and usually alternating between North and South Wales. It has a heavy druidic flavour, with the crowning and chairing ceremonies for the victorious poets being attended by bards in flowing white costumes, children dancing, and a horn playing. However, the heritage of this ceremony is of dubious provenance; we have little idea of how the original druids lived, nor even of who they were.

Nevertheless, it is taken very seriously, and an award of a crown or a chair for poetry is a great honour. One of the most dramatic events in Eisteddfod history was the award of the 1917 chair to the poet Ellis Humphrey Evans, druidic name Hedd Wyn, for the poem Yr Arwr (The Hero). The winner was announced, and the crowd waited for winner to stand up to accept the traditional congratulations before the chairing ceremony, but no winner appeared. It was then announced that Hedd Wyn had been killed the previous month on the battlefield in France. These events were portrayed in the Academy Award nominated film Hedd Wyn.

Another important eisteddfod in the calendar is 'Eisteddfod Yr Urdd', or the youth eisteddfod. Organised by Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the Youth League of Wales, it brings together children from the age of 7, up to young adults of 24, from all across Wales, for a week of competition of singing, recitation, dancing, acting and musicianship.

However, the most famous Eisteddfod is undoubtedly the International Eisteddfod, held annually in Llangollen. Choirs, singing groups, folk dancers and other groups attend from all over the world, sharing their national folk traditions in one of the world's great festivals of the arts.