Chairing of the Bard

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Robin Llwyd ab Owain chaired in 1991

The Chairing of the Bard (Welsh: Cadeirio'r Bardd) is one of the most important events in the Welsh eisteddfod tradition. The most famous chairing ceremony takes place at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, and is always on the Friday afternoon of Eisteddfod week.[1] Winners are referred to as Y Prifardd (literally "The Chief Bard"). The custom of chairing the bard is, however, much older than the modern eisteddfod ceremony, and is known to have taken place as early as 1176.[2]

The chairing ceremony of the 1958 National Eisteddfod; the victorious poet was T. Llew Jones

A new bardic chair is specially designed and made for each eisteddfod and is awarded to the winning entrant in the competition for the Awdl, poetry written in a strict metre form known as cynghanedd.

The National Eisteddfod ceremony is presided over by the Archdruid, who reads the judges' comments before announcing the identity of the bard, using only the nom de plume that the winner has used to submit the work. Up to this point, no one knows the true identity of the bard, who is asked to stand and is then escorted to the stage. Local children perform a dance to honour the new bard.

Winning the "double" of bardic chair and crown at the same eisteddfod is a feat that has only been performed a handful of times in the history of the eisteddfod. Alan Llwyd and Donald Evans have each performed the double twice.