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Youngsters celebrate Welsh culture at inaugural Gŵyl Hirddydd Haf

A delightful celebration of the Welsh language and culture took place at the ‘Gŵyl Hirddydd Haf’ Summer Solstice Festival at the Urdd Centre, Pentre Ifan with Year Five school children.

The festival, held on Thursday, June 20th, was a vibrant event filled with educational and entertaining activities aimed at fostering a love for the Welsh language, celebrating our habitat, and cultivating a sense of belonging.

There were 140 children from ten Pembrokeshire schools taking part in a diverse array of workshops and excursions designed to ignite the curiosity and creativity of the young learners.

The day’s itinerary included a poetic forest walk, language-based trivia, mindfulness sessions with Delun and Aled, and a captivating live performance in the woods by Mari Mathias. Artistic expression was encouraged in an art session with Efa Blosse-Mason, while Ynni Da provided engaging Welsh music activities. Additionally, Rhagoriaith led insightful sessions on eco-linguistics.

There was also storytelling, willow waving a lively twmpath, and a spectacular live gig by the renowned band Bwncath, which brought the day’s festivities to a rousing close.

Dafydd Vaughan, Youth Officer with Menter Iaith Sir Benfro, shared his enthusiasm: “Gŵyl Hirddydd Haf was a wonderful opportunity for our young learners to immerse themselves in a wide range of activities to celebrate our Welsh language and culture.”

Catrin Phillips, Welsh Language Development Officer at Pembrokeshire County Council, added: “It was inspiring to see the children’s curiosity and creativity flourish throughout the day. Events like these play a crucial role in promoting the Welsh language and fostering a strong sense of community among our young people.”

The event was a joint effort organised by Pembrokeshire County Council and Menter Iaith Sir Benfro, with the support of the Urdd and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Special thanks are extended to Llaeth Preseli, Cegin Cawl Potsh, and Pitsa de for their delicious food offerings, enjoyed by both children and staff.

The festival concluded with a striking ceremony where the Twrch Trwyth effigy and the children’s written promises for the future were ceremoniously burned. The inspiration for the festival’s logo came from Manon of Ysgol Eglwyswrw, the winner of the logo competition.

This event was organised by Catrin Phillips, Dafydd Vaughan, and Owain Dafydd. Reflecting on the success of this year’s festival, the organisers hope to make ‘Gŵyl Hirddydd Haf’ an annual celebration of Welsh language and culture.