Urdd EisteddBlog: Day 1 Blog 2
This week, CLIC is at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Swansea. Each day, one of our writers will be sharing their experience of the festival. These are the Urdd Eisteddblogs, and this is cindyCLIC blogging on day one...
Despite the rain, there was already a long queue of cars waiting to enter the Maes at 9.30am on the first day of the Urdd Eisteddfod.
Clearly, the yearly event, which is one of the largest youth arts festival in Europe, received plenty of interest from adults, children and young people in Wales.
Organisers said they expect around 100,000 visitors over the week with around 15,000 people taking part in competitions.
Most people came prepared for the weather, all decked out in raincoats, wellies and waterproof gear. The rain showed no sign of letting up by midday and large puddles soon formed with the ground turning wet and muddy.
Still, that didn’t dampen spirits.
There was a steady stream of visitors exploring various stalls and tents and trying their hands at different stuff. From rock-climbing to learning circus skills and picking up some cooking tips.
The CLIC team first checked out the science exhibition and watched in amazement as liquid nitrogen changed the physical properties of various objects. They then hopped onto the Cooking Bus parked right at the main entrance to have a quick tour.
As it turned out, the Cooking Bus was very popular with children. Run by Focus On Food, a national charity, the Cooking Bus is the leading practical food education and outreach programme in the UK teaching cooking to schools and community groups.
Groups of children excitedly gathered in the clean and bright kitchen on the bus, which was fully kitted out with worktops, sinks, cabinets and ovens. They washed their hands before putting on some aprons to learn how to make vegetable samosas.
“While healthy eating remains vital, it is even important for young people to be able to cook for themselves the food that they eat, thereby empowering them with much better control over their food lives,” explained Anita Cormac, Executive Director of the Focus On Food Campaign, in the charity’s official handout.
By the time the children finished cooking on the bus and left with their freshly made samosas at 2.30pm, the skies had brightened up.
The CLIC team took this opportunity to walk around the grounds to meet children and young people, handing out multicoloured wristbands, pens, badges and stickers and got lots of attention from everyone who all wanted the funky merchandise.
With the sun shining and the mud drying by the afternoon, it began to feel a lot more like being at a festival. Balloons, clowns on stilts, the smell of frying onions from the burger vans, the beautiful melodies of a Welsh song being performed in the main Pavilion.
The Urdd Eisteddfod is a must-go if you embrace the Welsh culture and language. And even if you don’t speak a word of Welsh, you’d still be made to feel very welcomed.
For more photos of the Eisteddfod, check our Flickr album at the end of each day.