Eisteddfod (plural eisteddfodau) is a Welsh word referring to
a festival of musical and artistic competitions. It is essentially a cultural festival, to which the notion of competition ... is intrinsic.
Competitions range across the whole fields of the arts - singing both solo and choral, verse-speaking and recitation, performance on a range of musical instruments; dance, drama, sometimes gymnastics; often poetry and short-story writing, painting and even sculpture.

Filmer-Davies, Cath. Eisteddfod: a Welsh Tradition in Australia. Brisbane: Seren Press, 2001. Print.

Many of the Coalfields families were of Welsh origin, and they brought this fine tradition with them. Events included choral, instrumental, elocution and dancing. 

Eisteddfodau were regular events in New South Wales during the twentieth century, and the Abermain, Muswellbrook and City of Newcastle Mattara Eisteddfodau are still held. The coalfields communities participated in these events with great enthusiasm and talent.

There is a brief history and list of eisteddfodau in Australia at the Australian National Eisteddfod website  You may notice a few differences between the events of today and of yesteryear, but the spirit remains the same.

NSW State Eisteddfod, 1-6 September 1947 in Newcastle's 150th Anniversary : official handbook and programme prepared and designed by G R Burrows ; complied by  E Sparke / Newcastle : city of Greater Newcastle, 1947  

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