Wales is a country in Western Europe that has a distinctive culture including its own language, customs, politics, holidays and music. Wales is primarily represented by the symbol of the red Welsh Dragon, but other national emblems include the leek and daffodil. The Welsh words for leeks (cennin) and daffodils (cennin Pedr, lit. "(Saint) Peter's Leeks") are closely related and it is likely that one of the symbols came to be used due to a misunderstanding for the other one, though it is less clear which came first.
Although Wales has been identified as having been inhabited by humans for some 230,000 years, as evidenced by the discovery of a Neanderthal at the Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site in north Wales, it is the Welsh rulers of the Middle Ages who have proven to be the most influential. Building on the construction in Wales during the Roman era of occupation, these early kingdoms were also influenced by Ireland; but precise details are unclear prior to the 8th century AD. Several Kingdoms arose at that time, including Gwynedd, Powys and Deheubarth.
While Rhodri the Great in the 9th century was the first ruler to oversee a large portion of Wales, it was not until 1055 that Gruffydd ap Llywelyn united the individual Welsh kingdoms and began to annex parts of England. Gruffydd was killed by his own men on 5 August 1063 while Harold Godwinson sought to engage him in battle. This was just over three years before the Norman invasion of England, which led to a drastic change of fortune for Wales. By 1070, the Normans had already seen successes in their invasion of Wales with Gwent fallen and Deheubarth plundered. The invasion was seemingly complete by 1093.
However, the Welsh rebelled against their new overlords the following year, and the Welsh kingdoms were re-established and most of the land retaken from the Normans over the subsequent decades. While Gwynedd grew in strength, Powys was broken up after the death of Llywelyn ap Madog in the 1160s and was never reunited. Llywelyn the Great rose in Gwynedd and had reunited the majority of Wales by his death in 1240. After his death, King Henry III of England intervened to prevent Dafydd ap Llywelyn from inheriting his father's lands outside Gwynedd, leading to war. The claims of his successor, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, conflicted with those of King Edward I of England; this resulted in the conquest of Wales by English forces.
The Tudors of Penmynydd grew in power and influence during the 13th to 15th centuries, first owning land in north Wales, but losing it after Maredudd ap Tudur backed the 1400 uprising of Owain Glyndŵr. Maredudd's son, Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur, anglicised his name to become Owen Tudor, and was the grandfather of Henry Tudor. Henry took the throne of England following the Wars of the Roses when his forces defeated those of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The House of Tudor continued to reign through several successive monarchs until 1603, when James I (James VI of Scotland) took the throne for the House of Stuart; his great grandmother was Margaret Tudor.
Daffodils and leeks, two of the national symbols of Wales
Official symbols of Wales include the Welsh Dragon, daffodil and leek. Both the dragon and leek date back to the 7th century, as King Cadwaladr of Gwynedd had his soldiers wear the vegetable during battle against Saxons to make it easier to identify them. He also introduced the Red Dragon standard, although this symbol was most likely introduced to the British Isles by Roman troops. It may also have been a reference to the 6th century Welsh word draig, which meant "leader". The standard was appropriated by the Normans during the 11th century, and used for the Royal Standard of Scotland. Richard I of England took a red dragon standard with him on the Third Crusade. The colours of the leek were used for the uniforms of soldiers under Edward I of England.
Both symbols were popular with Tudor kings, with Henry VII of England (Henry Tudor) adding the white and green background to the red dragon standard. It was largely forgotten by the House of Stuart, who favoured a unicorn instead. By the 17th and 18th centuries, it became common practice in Great Britain for the gentry to wear leeks on St. David's Day. In 1807, a "a red dragon passant standing on a mound" was made the King's badge for Wales. Following an increase in nationalism in 1953, it was proposed to add the motto Y ddraig goch ddyry cychwyn ("the red dragon takes the lead") to the flag. This was poorly received, and six years later Queen Elizabeth II intervened to put the current flag in place.
The daffodil is a more recent development, becoming popular during the 19th century. It may have been linked to the leek; as the Welsh for daffodil (cenhinen Bedr) translates as "St Peter's Leek". During the 20th century, the daffodil rose to rival the prominence of the leek as a symbol of Wales. Prime Minister David Lloyd George ensured that the daffodil had a place in the investiture of Edward, Prince of Wales. The traditional Welsh costume and Welsh hat were well known during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Princess Alexandrina Victoria (later Queen Victoria) had a hat made for her when she visited Wales in 1832. The hat was popularised by Sydney Curnow Vosper's 1908 painting Salem, but by then its use had declined.
Before the Roman occupation, the dominant religion in Wales was a pagan one, led by the druids. Little is known about the traditions and ceremonies, but Tacitus, whose claims were sometimes exaggerated, stated that they performed human sacrifice: he says that in AD 61, an altar on Anglesey was found to be "drenched with the blood of their prisoners". Christianity was introduced to Wales through the Romans, and after they abandoned the British Isles, it survived in South East Wales at Hentland. In the 6th century, this was home to Dubricius, the first Celtic saint.
The largest religion in modern Wales is Christianity, with almost 58% of the population describing themselves as Christian in the 2011 census. The Presbyterian Church of Wales was for many years the largest denomination; it was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival in the 18th century and seceded from the Church of England in 1811; The Church in Wales had an average Sunday attendance of 32,171 in 2012. It forms part of the Anglican Communion, and was also part of the Church of England, but was disestablished by the British Government in 1920 under the Welsh Church Act 1914. Non-Christian religions have relatively few followers in Wales, with Muslims making up 1.5% of the population while Hindus and Buddhists represent 0.3% each in the 2011 census. Over 32% of the population in Wales did not note a religion. Research in 2007 by the Tearfund organisation showed that Wales had the lowest average church attendance in the UK, with 12% of the population routinely attending.
The patron saint of Wales is Saint David, Dewi Sant in Welsh. St. David's Day is celebrated on 1 March, which some people argue should be designated a public holiday in Wales. Other days which have been proposed for national public commemorations are 16 September (the day on which Owain Glyndŵr's rebellion began) and 11 December (the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd).
The traditional seasonal festivals in Wales are:
Many works of Celtic art have been found in Wales. In the Early Medieval period, the Celtic Christianity of Wales participated in the Insular art of the British Isles and a number of illuminated manuscripts possibly of Welsh origin survive, of which the 8th century Hereford Gospels and Lichfield Gospels are the most notable. The 11th century Ricemarch Psalter (now in Dublin) is certainly Welsh, made in St David's, and shows a late Insular style with unusual Viking influence.
The best of the few Welsh artists of the 16th-18th centuries tended to move elsewhere to work, but in the 18th century the dominance of landscape art in English art brought them motives to stay at home, and brought an influx of artists from outside to paint Welsh scenery. The Welsh painter Richard Wilson (1714–1782) is arguably the first major British landscapist, but rather more notable for Italian scenes than Welsh ones, although he did paint several on visits from London.
It remained difficult for artists relying on the Welsh market to support themselves until well into the 20th century. An Act of Parliament in 1854 provided for the establishment of a number of art schools throughout the United Kingdom, and the Cardiff School of Art opened in 1865. Graduates still very often had to leave Wales to work, but Betws-y-Coed became a popular centre for artists, and its artists' colony helped form the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art in 1881. The sculptor Sir William Goscombe John made many works for Welsh commissions, although he had settled in London. Christopher Williams, whose subjects were mostly resolutely Welsh, was also based in London. Thomas E. Stephens and Andrew Vicari had very successful careers as portraitists based respectively in the United States and France. Sir Frank Brangwyn was Welsh by origin, but spent little time in Wales.
Perhaps the most famous Welsh painters, Augustus John and his sister Gwen John, mostly lived in London and Paris; however the landscapists Sir Kyffin Williams and Peter Prendergast remained living in Wales for most of their lives, though well in touch with the wider art world. Ceri Richards was very engaged in the Welsh art scene as a teacher in Cardiff, and even after moving to London; he was a figurative painter in international styles including Surrealism. Various artists have moved to Wales, including Eric Gill, the London-born Welshman David Jones, and the sculptor Jonah Jones. The Kardomah Gang was an intellectual circle centred on the poet Dylan Thomas and poet and artist Vernon Watkins in Swansea, which also included the painter Alfred Janes. Today much art is produced in Wales, as elsewhere in a great diversity of styles.
Historically, there were three main areas of pottery production in Wales: south-west Wales, northern Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan. Several further sites can be identified through their place names, for example Pwllcrochan in Pembrokshire, which translates to Crock Pool, and archaeology has also revealed former kiln sites across the country. These were often located near clay beds, for ease of resource gathering. Buckley and Ewenny became leading areas of pottery production in Wales during the 17th and 18th centuries; these are applied as generic terms to different potters within those areas during this period. South Wales had several notable potteries during that same period, an early exponent being the Cambrian Pottery (1764–1870, also known as "Swansea pottery"). The works from Cambrian attempted to imitate those of Wedgwood. Nantgarw Pottery, near Cardiff, was in operation from 1813 to 1823 making fine porcelain. Llanelly Pottery was the last surviving major pottery works in South Wales when it closed in 1922.
Theatrical performances are thought to have begun after the Roman invasion of Britain. There are remains of a Roman amphitheatre at Caerleon, which would have served the nearby fortress of Isca Augusta. Between Roman and modern times, theatre in Wales was limited to performances of travelling players, sometimes in temporary structures. Welsh theatrical groups also performed in England, as did English groups in Wales. The rise of the Puritans in the 17th century and then Methodism during the 18th century caused declines in Welsh theatre as performances were seen as immoral.
Despite this, performances continued on showgrounds, and with a handful of travelling groups of actors. The Savoy Theatre, Monmouth, the oldest theatre still in operation in Wales, was built during the 19th century and originally operated as the Assembly Rooms. Other theatres opened over the following decades, with Cardiff's Theatre Royal opening in 1827. After a fire, a replacement Theatre Royal opened in 1878. Competition for theatres led to further buildings being constructed, such as the New Theatre, Cardiff, which opened on 10 December 1906.
Wales is often referred to as "the land of song", and is notable for its harpists, male choirs, and solo artists. The principal Welsh festival of music and poetry is the annual National Eisteddfod. The Llangollen International Eisteddfod echoes the National Eisteddfod but provides an opportunity for the singers and musicians of the world to perform. Traditional music and dance in Wales is supported by many societies. The Welsh Folk Song Society has published a number of collections of songs and tunes.
Male choirs (sometimes called male voice choirs), which emerged in the 19th century, have remained a lasting tradition in Wales. Originally these choirs were formed as the tenor and bass sections of chapel choirs, and embraced the popular secular hymns of the day. Many of the historic Welsh choirs survive, singing a mixture of traditional and popular songs. Traditional instruments of Wales include telyn deires (triple harp), fiddle, crwth, pibgorn (hornpipe) and other instruments. The Cerdd Dant Society promotes its specific singing art primarily through an annual one-day festival. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales performs in Wales and internationally. The Welsh National Opera is based at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, while the National Youth Orchestra of Wales was the first of its type in the world.
Wales has had a number of successful singers across the decades. In the 1960s, bands such as Amen Corner, The Iveys/Badfinger and singers including Sir Tom Jones, Dame Shirley Bassey and Mary Hopkin. By the 1980s, indie pop and alternative rock bands such as The Alarm, The Pooh Sticks and The Darling Buds were popular in their genres. But the wider view at the time was that the wider Welsh music scene was stagnant, as the more popular musicians from Wales were from earlier eras.
In the 1990s, in England, the Britpop scene was emerging, while in Wales, bands such as Y Cyrff and Ffa Coffi Pawb began to sing in English, starting an evolution that would lead to the creation of Catatonia and the Super Furry Animals. The influence of the 80s bands and the emergence of a Welsh language and dual language music scene locally in Wales led to a dramatic shift in opinion across the United Kingdom as the "Cool Cymru" bands of the period emerged. The leading Welsh band during this period was the Manic Street Preachers, whose 1996 album Everything Must Go has been listed among the greatest albums of all time.
Some of those bands have had ongoing success, while the general popularity of Welsh music during this period led to a resurgence of singers such as Tom Jones with his album Reload. It was his first non-compilation number one album since 1968's Delilah. Meanwhile, Shirley Bassey reached the top 20 once more in the UK Charts with her collaboration with the Propellerheads on the single "History Repeating". They also introduced new acts, such as Catatonia's Owen Powell working with Duffy during her early period. Moving into the 21st century, Bullet For My Valentine were named the Best British Band at the Kerrang! Awards for three years running. Other successful bands from this period include Funeral For A Friend, and Lostprophets.
Over fifty national governing bodies regulate and organise their sports in Wales. Most of those involved in competitive sports select, organise and manage individuals or teams to represent their country at international events or fixtures against other countries. Wales is represented at major world sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup, the Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. At the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete alongside those of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland as part of a Great Britain team.
Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Welsh national rugby union team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship and has also competed in every Rugby World Cup, with Wales hosting the 1999 tournament. The five professional sides that replaced the traditional club sides in major competitions in 2003 were in turn replaced in 2004 by the four regions: Scarlets; Cardiff Blues; Newport Gwent Dragons; and the Ospreys. The Welsh regional teams play in the Pro14 league, the Anglo-Welsh Cup (LV Cup), the European Heineken Cup and the European (Amlin) Challenge Cup.
Wales has had its own association football league since 1992. For historical and other reasons, two Welsh clubs (Cardiff City and Swansea City) play in the English Football League. Another three Welsh clubs play in English football's feeder leagues: Wrexham, Newport County and Merthyr Town. This also qualifies those teams to compete for England's domestic trophies. On 23 April 1927, Cardiff City became the only team outside England to win the FA Cup. In European football competitions, only teams playing in the Welsh leagues are eligible to play for Wales. The five teams in the English leagues are eligible to represent England only, and they are not allowed to compete for domestic Welsh trophies.
In international cricket, Wales and England field a single representative team, administered by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), called the England cricket team, or simply "England". Occasionally, a separate Wales national cricket team plays in limited-overs competitions, mainly against English county teams. Glamorgan is the only Welsh participant in the England and Wales County Championship. Plaid Cymru have argued that Wales should have its own international team and withdraw from the existing arrangement under which Welsh players play for England. The proposal has aroused opposition from Cricket Wales and Glamorgan County Cricket Club, who argue such a move would be financially disastrous. The debate focused on a report produced by the Welsh National Assembly's petitions committee, which reflected the arguments on both sides. Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru's spokesperson on heritage, culture, sport and broadcasting, and a member of the petitions committee, said: "Cricket Wales and Glamorgan CCC say the idea of a Welsh national cricket team is ‘an emotive subject’. Of course having a national team is emotive. You only have to look at the stands during any national game to see that. To suggest this as anything other than natural is a bit of a misleading argument." In their strategic plan, Cricket Wales state they are "committed to continuing to play a major role within the ECB"
Wales has produced several world-class participants in individual sports, including snooker players Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths, Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens. Successful track athletes include miler Jim Alford who was a world record holder in the 4 x 1500 metres relay, the 110-metre hurdler Colin Jackson who is a former world record holder and the winner of numerous Olympic, World and European medals, and Tanni Grey-Thompson who has won 11 Paralympic gold medals. Wales has also produced a number of world-class boxers. Joe Calzaghe was WBO World Super-Middleweight Champion and then won the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super-middleweight and Ring Magazine Light-Heavyweight titles. Other former boxing world champions include Enzo Maccarinelli, Freddie Welsh, Howard Winstone, Percy Jones, Jimmy Wilde, Steve Robinson and Robbie Regan.
Wales is not considered to have a strong food identity, with some people considering that there is "no such thing as Welsh food". Welsh cookery is said to be similar to English Cuisine in style. However, there are regional variations in the food seen across Wales, which can be traced historically to the availability of certain crops and produce in specific areas of the country. The cuisine of Gower is particularly different to the rest of Wales. It was strongly influenced by Somerset and Devon, and developed dishes such as whitepot while ingredients such as pumpkin were used, which are unusual in the rest of Wales.
Cattle farming produces the majority of Wales' agricultural output. Welsh beef is protected under European Union law, meaning that it must be produced and slaughtered in Wales. Welsh pigs are raised, providing good cuts of meat. The mountainous areas of Wales are suited to sheep farming and this has led to an association of their meat with the country. The mutton of Wales has been popular in the rest of the United Kingdom since the 16th century, and by the end of the 20th century there were more than 11 million sheep in Wales.
Several Welsh dishes are thought of because their ingredients are associated with Wales, whereas others have been developed there. Cawl is regarded as the Welsh national dish; it is a slow-cooked meat and vegetable broth. Traditionally it was a vegetable-heavy dish, but now it is more likely to contain beef or lamb. Welsh rarebit is thought to date from the 18th century, although the original term "Welsh rabbit" may have been intended as a slur against the Welsh. Another use of cheese in a traditional Welsh dish is seen in Glamorgan sausage, which is a skinless sausage made of cheese and either leek or spring onion, which is then rolled into a sausage shape before frying. Laverbread is made using a puree of seaweed, and is traditionally served with a Welsh breakfast. Welsh cakes are made on a bakestone, and are small round spiced cakes containing raisins, sultanas and occasionally currants. Bara brith contains similar ingredients to Welsh cakes, but is similar to a tea bread.
The Welsh have their own versions of pancakes, Crempog's (sometimes called ffroes) are considerably thick. They are traditionally layered on top of each other to form a large cake. Some are very much like American pancakes, others may be made with yeast (called crempog furum) or oatmeal (although this is also true of American pancakes) and some are like Scotch pancakes.
Beer is the national drink of Wales, despite the influence of the temperance movement in Wales. The Wrexham Lager Beer Company was the first successful lager producer in Britain when it opened in 1882 and the Felinfoel Brewery was the first brewery in Europe to put beer in cans. Whisky production in Wales was historically a niche industry, and completely shut down in 1910 when the last distillery was bought out by a Scottish firm. However, the Penderyn distillery became the first Wales-created whisky in a century to go on sale when it was launched in 2004. There are 20 Welsh vineyards producing 100,000 bottles of wine a year in total.
Bando is a team sport – related to hockey, hurling, shinty, and bandy – which was first recorded in Wales in the eighteenth century. The game is played on a large level field between teams of up to thirty players each of them equipped with a bando: a curve-ended stick resembling that used in field hockey. Although no formal rules are known, the objective of the game was to strike a ball between two marks which served as goals at either end of the pitch. Popular in Glamorgan in the nineteenth century, the sport all but vanished by the end of the century. Now a minority sport, the game is still played in parts of Wales where it has become an Easter tradition.Calan Gaeaf
Calan Gaeaf is the name of the first day of winter in Wales, observed on 1 November. The night before is Nos Galan Gaeaf or Noson Galan Gaeaf, an Ysbrydnos when spirits are abroad. People avoid churchyards, stiles, and crossroads, since spirits are thought to gather there.Celt (disambiguation)
The Celts were Iron Age inhabitants of Europe, who spoke Celtic languages and shared other cultural features.
Culture of Ireland
Culture of Scotland
Culture of the Isle of Man
Culture of Wales
Culture of Cornwall
Culture of BrittanyCeltic culture
Celtic culture may refer to:
Ancient Celtic culture
Gaelic cultureThe Celtic culture of the Celtic nations:
Culture of Ireland
Culture of Scotland
Culture of the Isle of Man
Culture of Wales
Culture of Cornwall
Culture of Brittany
Culture of GaliciaChicago Tafia
The Chicago Tafia Welsh Society (also known as the Chicago Tafia) is an expatriate Welsh group formed in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1999. As one of the youngest and most contemporary Welsh groups in North America, the society strives to provide a link between the present culture of Wales and the Chicago area.Cinema of Wales
The Cinema of Wales comprises the art of film and creative movies made in Wales or by Welsh filmmakers either locally or abroad. Welsh cinema began in the late-19th century, led by Welsh-based director William Haggar. Wales continued to produce film of varying quality throughout the 20th century, in both the Welsh and English languages, though indigenous production was curtailed through a lack of infrastructure and finance, which prevented the growth of the industry nationally. Despite this, Wales has been represented in all fields of the film making process, producing actors and directors of note.Glanmor Williams
Sir Glanmor Williams (5 May 1920 – 24 February 2005) was one of Wales's most eminent historians.
Sir Glanmor was born in Dowlais, into a working-class family, and was educated at Cyfarthfa Grammar School. He studied at Aberystwyth alongside Alun Lewis and Emyr Humphreys, becoming a specialist in the early modern period of Welsh history. His long academic career included 37 years at the University of Wales, Swansea, between 1945 and 1982, and ten as vice-president of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
He joined Swansea University in 1945 and was Professor of History at Swansea University from 1957 to 1982, his research interests focused on the Protestant Reformation and its impact on Welsh life and culture. His exceptional study of the Welsh Church after 1282, The Welsh Church from Conquest to Reformation was published in 1962. In subsequent works, such as Owen Glendower (1966), Recovery, Reorientation and Reformation (1987), and Owain Glyndwr (1993) Williams documented how English subjugation of Wales was strengthened by the Tudor Acts of Union, and yet still offered scope for the growth and development of Welsh culture.
In Religion, Language and Nationality in Wales (1979) he described the origins of Welsh cultural and political nationalism. He wrote equally fluently in Welsh, with his best known works including: Dadeni, Diwygiad a Diwylliant Cymru (The Renaissance, the Reformation and the Culture of Wales, 1964), Grym Tafodau Tân (The Power of Fiery Tongues, 1984) and Cymru a'r Gorffennol: côr o leisiau (Wales and the Past: a choir of voices, 2000).
Williams was Vice-Principal of Swansea University from 1975 to 1978, and was also appointed to many committees in Wales and England. He served as President of the Baptist Union of Wales, National Governor of BBC Wales and Chairman of the Broadcasting Council for Wales (1965–71), on the board of the British Library and its Advisory Council. Furthermore, he was actively involved in the Board of Celtic Studies, the Pantyfedwen Trust and Cadw. He became a Fellow of the Society of Arts in 1979 and was appointed a CBE in 1981.
After his retirement from Swansea, he served as Chairman of the Ancient Monuments Board (Wales) from 1983 to 1995, Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (1986 to 90), and Vice-President of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth (1986 to 1996). He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1986 and was knighted in 1995. His autobiography Glanmor Williams: A Life was published in 2002.Speaking after Williams' death in Swansea in 2005, the vice-chancellor, Richard B Davies, said: "his influence on the study of Wales is incalculable. Just to meet him was a privilege."Historic counties of Wales
The historic counties of Wales are sub-divisions of Wales. They were used for various functions for several hundred years, but have been largely superseded by contemporary sub-national divisions, some of which bear some limited similarity to the historic entities in name and extent. They are alternatively known as ancient counties.Holidays in Wales
These are the main holidays traditionally celebrated in Wales that are not shared with the rest of the United Kingdom. Except for those that fall at the same time as UK public holidays, none of these holidays are bank holidays. There is, however, much support for the recognition of St David's Day as a bank holiday in Wales, in the same way as St Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland, and St Andrew's Day in Scotland.
Many of the seasoned festivals originate in the Celtic culture of Wales, as does the manner of their celebration.Leek
The leek is a vegetable, a cultivar of Allium ampeloprasum, the broadleaf wild leek. The edible part of the plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths that is sometimes erroneously called a stem or stalk. The genus Allium also contains the onion, garlic, shallot, scallion, chive, and Chinese onion.Historically, many scientific names were used for leeks, but they are now all treated as cultivars of A. ampeloprasum. The name 'leek' developed from the Old English word leac, from which the modern English name of garlic also derives. Three closely related vegetables, elephant garlic, kurrat and Persian leek or tareh, are also cultivars of A. ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food.List of Welsh flags
This is a list of flags used exclusively in Wales.National symbols of Wales
The national symbols of Wales include a diversity of official and unofficial images and other symbols.Old Welsh
Old Welsh (Welsh: Hen Gymraeg) is the label attached to the Welsh language from about 800 AD until the early 12th century when it developed into Middle Welsh. The preceding period, from the time Welsh became distinct from Common Brittonic around 550, has been called "Primitive" or "Archaic Welsh".Outline of Wales
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Wales:
Wales – country that is part of the United Kingdom, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has an estimated population of three million and is officially bilingual with the Welsh and English languages having equal status. The Welsh language is an important element of Welsh culture. Its decline has reversed over recent years, with Welsh speakers estimated to be around 20% of the population of Wales.Pennar Davies
William Thomas Pennar Davies (12 November 1911 – 29 December 1996) was a Welsh clergyman and author.Born William Thomas Davies, in Mountain Ash, the son of a miner, he took the name "Pennar" (a stream in Mountain Ash and the root of its Welsh name Aberpennar) "as a sign of his identification with the native culture of Wales". Pennar Davies studied at University of Wales, Cardiff, at Balliol and Mansfield College, Oxford, and at Yale University. In 1943 he became a Congregational minister in Cardiff. He was subsequently professor of Church History at Bala-Bangor Theological College and Brecon Congregational Memorial College, was Principal of Brecon Congregational Memorial College from 1950 and Principal of Swansea Memorial College from 1959 until his retirement in 1979.Davies wrote poetry under the pseudonym Davies Aberpennar. Until about 1948 he wrote in both Welsh and English, and after this almost exclusively in Welsh, which he had learnt as a young man.A member of Plaid Cymru, he was co-opted onto its Pwyllgor Gwaith Cenedlaethol at Easter 1947, Literary Editor of the party's monthly newspaper, The Welsh Nationalist" from March 1947 and its Editor from April 1949 During this period, the newspaper published new poetry by Idris Davies and R.S. Thomas Davies stood as a Parliamentary candidate at Llanelli in the UK general elections of 1964 and the 1966. He was a leading campaigner for Welsh language broadcasting.
Pennar Davies and his wife Rosemarie had five children. His eldest son Dr Meirion Pennar, became a leading Welsh language academic, poet and translator.Peter Lord (art historian)
Peter Lord (born 1948) is an English sculptor and art historian based in Wales. He is best known for his books and television programmes about the history of Welsh art, and is regarded as a leading authority on the subject. Critic Andrew Green has said that The Visual Culture of Wales, Lord's three-volume series published by University of Wales Press, "restored to Wales a narrative of visual art that had been lost or denied for decades".Twmpath
Twmpath (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈtʊmpaθ]) is a Welsh word literally meaning a hump or tump, once applied to the mound or village green upon which the musicians sat and played for the community to dance.
Twmpath dawns were organised by Urdd Gobaith Cymru in the late 1950s and 1960s, a form of barn dance, for the entertainment of young people, mainly from rural areas. These events remained popular until the rise of discos in the 1970s. Twmpath is used today to mean a Welsh version of the barn dance or céilidh.
The same word is also used to refer to a speed bump.Welsh literature
Welsh literature is any literature originating from Wales or by Welsh writers:
Welsh-language literature for literature in the Welsh language
Welsh literature in English for literature in the English languageWelsh surnames
Fixed family names were adopted in Wales from the 15th century onwards. Until this point, the Welsh had a patronymic naming system.
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