Cultures and Traditions
Ceredigion is the fourth largest county in Wales, being 1,795 sqm, but its population is the third smallest (the population of Ceredigion is 70,000 with around 151 town’s and villages). There are up to 15,000 students in Aberystwyth. Many local festivals take place across the county including Tregaron’s Annual Festival of the Mountains and the Plumlumon Countryside Festival. Also Cardigan’s October Walking Festival, The Tregaron Trotting Club Harness Races, and the competitive canoeing events at Llandysul. Aberaeron has the popular Rugby 7’s tournament, and the gathering of the best Welsh Ponies and Cobs.
Culture and Arts are very important in Ceredigion. There are main Art Galleries in Cardigan, Tregaron and Aberystwyth. Newquay was once the home of a famous Welsh bard Dylan Thomas. Cardigan was the location of the first National Eisteddfod in 1176 and now has a thriving arts scene, with regular exhibitions and an annual European Film Festival. The national shrine for Welsh Catholics: Our Lady of Cardigan, Benedictine Monastery, Water Mill at St. Dogmaels and Cardigan’s Heritage Centre Canolfan Hanes Aberteifi are the main visitor attractions. The Community Theatre Felin-Fach in Aberaeron welcomes touring productions. Aberystwyth Galleries include: The Ceredigion Museum, The University School of Art, The National Library of Wales, and The Art’s Centre (largest in Wales). Less formal concerts and performances are a regular feature in village life, with pubs and other facilities hosting them. There is the Commodore Cinema at Aberystwyth, showing the latest films. The National Library of Wales contains treasures of Wales and other Celtic nations, and many manuscripts, maps and books showing the history of Wales in detail. This includes the Black Book of Carmarthen, the oldest existing Welsh Manuscript. The 11th Century monk, Rhigyfarch, wrote the Life of St. David at Llanbadarn Church near Aberystwyth. Part of Brut y Tywysogion (chronicle of the Welsh Princes) was also written here. The Ceredigion Museum, housed in the Coliseum, a restored Edwardian music hall, is seen as one of the most beautiful museums in Britain. The Pavilion in Pontrhydfendigaid (only 1m away) hosts numerous concerts, craft and antique fairs, car boot sales and various other events. . Ffair Rhos is also known as the “Village of Poets”; the 20th Century poets: Evan Jenkins, Dafydd Jones, Dafydd A Edwards and WJ Gruffydd were born here. W J Gruffydd became the Archdruid of the Gorsedd of the Bards of the National Eisteddfod of Wales (1984-86).