The Gorsedd Today
Most members of the Gorsedd are poets, writers, musicians and artists, who either join when they win one of the Eisteddfod’s main competitions, sit an exam or when they are awarded a degree in Welsh or Music from a Welsh university.
A number of people are also honoured by the Gorsedd every year, to celebrate their contribution to Wales, and these include such notable people as Bryn Terfel, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Rhodri Morgan and Ioan Gruffudd.
The Gorsedd also honours some people who have worked tirelessly for the National Eisteddfod through the years – often behind the scenes, and these individuals receive the same honour as our famous faces.
New members are honoured in ceremonies held at the Gorsedd Stones on the Eisteddfod Maes on the Monday and Friday mornings of the festival week. These ceremonies are led by the Archdruid, who also leads the main ceremonies held on the Pavilion stage during the week. The Archdruid is elected for three years, and he is the Head of the Gorsedd of the Bards.
For many, the Gorsedd processions through the Eisteddfod Maes are amongst the week’s highlights. These are held three times during the week following the main ceremonies held on the Pavilion stage.
Monday is the Crowning Ceremony; on Wednesday, the Eisteddfod and the Gorsedd honours the winner of the Prose Medal, and the Chairing of the Bard ceremony is held on Friday. The Gorsedd escort the winning bard or writer – if there is a winner – from the Pavilion and around the Maes. This is an opportunity for the public to enjoy the splendour of the Gorsedd and congratulate the successful winner.