Today is the start of a week of events as part of the Newport Welsh festival Gŵyl Newydd which will culminate at Malpas Court, Newport on Saturday September 15th between 12 and 4pm.
With an increasing number of arts and music festivals popping up throughout Wales, a group came together to discuss organising a Welsh language festival in Newport, and in consultation with the public it was clearly noted that there was a desire to hold a Welsh language festival in the area to support the promotion of the Welsh language in the city and beyond.
A number of local partners have been assisting with the organization, including Menter Iaith Casnewydd, Menter Iaith Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen a Mynwy, the Urdd, Gwent Welsh for Adults Center, University of South Wales, Mudiad Meithrin, Cymraeg for Kids, and Merched y Wawr as well as local volunteers.
The aim of the festival is to have the opportunity to enjoy and socialize in a completely bilingual setting. It’s also an opportunity to raise the profile of Welsh in the community, giving a shop window to the many opportunities that local partners offer for fluent speakers, learners and non-Welsh speakers alike to use Welsh within our square mile.
This evening there will be a talk about JE Southall at the Cwtsh on the Handpost and events will continue on Thursday evening with a lecture about Owain Glyndŵr at the Settlement in Pontypool, a night of guitar music with Rihisiart Arwel in Chepstow, and a Friday morning walk at the wetlands with the Gwent Welsh for Adults Center before the big day on Saturday at Malpas Court.
On Saturday, there will be information and local produce stalls as well as performances by Côr y Dreigiau Choir, Afon Lwyd Choir, schools from the area, a theatrical performance by Mewn Cymeriad, folk dancing with Gwerinwyr Gwent, circus and balloon skills, Iwcs ukulele orchestra, video games, Urdd sports, a story with Cymraeg for Kids and to close the day the singer Mei Gwynedd will perform.
Jamie James, Chair of the Gŵyl Newydd committee said:
“The Welsh language is growing strongly in Newport and beyond, with more and more fluent and new speakers using the language daily. Gŵyl Newydd is an opportunity for us all to celebrate our language and culture as well as show the community that the language is alive and used widely in Newport. You are all very welcome this week. ”
“We would like to thank our major sponsors this year, Harding Evans, Pure Severn Provisions, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and Eglwys Mynydd Seion for sponsoring our first year and everyone who has enabled the festival to take place this year.”
For more information follow @GwylNewydd on Twitter, Gŵyl Newydd on Facebook or visit www.gwylnewydd.cymru