Singer launches Year of Legends
SINGER and radio presenter Cerys Matthews has thrown her weight behind Visit Wales’ 2017 Year of Legends campaign.
The year-long celebration will promote the nation’s legends both past and present with events covering everything from food to sport.
Speaking at a launch event in Cardiff Castle, Cerys shared her love of Welsh legends which have inspired her.
She said: “I’ve spent my entire life being in complete awe of the myths that we find in Wales. I absolutely think that for such a small place this country is absolutely brimming with legends.
“I’ve been inspired by so many Welsh greats and works of art – RS Thomas, Dylan Thomas and the Mabinogion.”
Tourism body Visit Wales has pledged £1.2m to help fund 35 projects which will encourage tourists and natives to discover legends – both real and mythical – throughout the year.
Visit Wales has already announced a Merlin Festival in Carmarthenshire in March, The Tournament in Conwy in June and Landscape Legends – PopUp Experiences by Snowdonia Active.
The plans also look forward to June when Cardiff will host the sporting legends competing in the men’s and women’s Champions League finals.
The 47-year-old acclaimed Radio 6 Music presenter said she was looking forward to celebrating the unique events the year would bring.
She said: “For me all the old stuff is always relevant in life.
“So when I heard we will be celebrating things like St Dwynwen’s Day, which you can celebrate on the 25th of January, I was so happy. It is our very own patron of love and you have things like St David’s in March, our miracle maker from the fifth century.
“I mean these make life more interesting otherwise it would be a very humdrum life if we didn’t have our heritage.”
The former Catatonia singer added: “It’s a beautiful thing to have a chance to rediscover your country and people should take it.
“Back in 11th and 12th century when they were collected stories for the Mabinogion they started telling these amazing tales and using these incredibly supersized parts of the Welsh landscape to tell them.
“I would really recommend people go to Cardigan Bay and see if they can really believe some of those legends. You can. You really believe it.
“To have this chance to revisit these legends and make them relevant to our day to day lives is a beautiful thing – I am in awe of our heritage in song and literature.”
Joining Cerys as an ambassador for the project is Game of Thrones villain Iwan Rheon.
Raised in Cardiff, Iwan shot to fame in the smash hit adaptation of George RR Martin’s fantasy tale.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this project. I was so lucky to have Wales’ stories, history and culture as part of my upbringing,” he said.
“I’m looking forward Wales’ epic story.” to sharing