About the Daniel Owen Festival
The first festival dedicated to author Daniel Owen was a week-long event in Mold, Flintshire in 2010 from October 17 – 23, the week of his birth and death. This year it runs again from Saturday 15th until Friday 21st October 2022.
Something for everybody!
Activities in 2010 were based in and around the key places associated with Daniel Owen, including an English translation launch of Enoc Huws at The Pentan pub, a Daniel Owen Prize for creative writing, chapel events, writers’ group activities, a schools programme and a guided Daniel Owen Festival Town Walk by Mold and District Civic Society. The programme has developed from these beginnings into a festival which we hope has something for everybody!
Canaries, apples and dancing
In the past, youngsters have enjoyed creating Daniel Owen’s hat and canaries, inspired by the author’s hobby as can be seen in the town museum. In 2015 they had a mammoth drawing session and a chance to show their work outside in the newly revamped Daniel Owen Square. In 2018 children made statues of themselves! In 2019 we had the return of “Apples and Dance’ one of our most popular events ever! A constant stream of people in Daniel Owen Square enjoyed the apple pressing by the Relish Club of Mold – and an opportunity for you to sample the juice. In the afternoon, Welsh folk dancing by local and invited dance parties closed a fun-packed day
The Mold Riots
The 2019 festival was very pleased to be associated with Theatr Clwyd’s production of ‘The Riots’ , and the subject of the Mold riots of 1869 was the theme of a number of events, on its 150th anniversary. The annual lecture is not to be missed by anyone interested in Daniel Owen and his times, it is delivered in Welsh and there is simultaneous English translation and the lecture in 2019 was given by Bethan Marlow who was commissioned to write ‘The Riots’ by Theatr Clwyd
Music, walks and talks
The Festival has gone on to launch Fireside Tales (a translation of Straeon y Pentan) by Daniel Owen, Clwyd Theatr Cymru ran a competition for talented young writers and local guided walks, bus tours, evenings of poetry, humour and book readings, lectures, and discussions were well attended. There was also a Festival Gig, an arts activity day (Daniel Owen’s pig), story telling, and an evening concert by Ensemble Cymru. The 2019 the concert was by the gifted composer and talented performer Robat Arwyn.
The colourful and lively Festival is planned as a highlight in Mold’s annual calendar. Many events are free of charge, although some will have nominal fees.
That’s a flavour of the Festival. There’s a lot more! The 2022 programme sees the return of singing, dancing and apple-pressing on the Square again!
About Daniel Owen (20 October 1836 – 22 October 1895)
A little history
Daniel Owen was born in Mold in 1836, the youngest of six children. In 1837, his father and two brothers were drowned in a mining accident at the Argoed colliery and Daniel was brought up in poverty.
His mother was determined that he should not be a miner, so when he was twelve he was apprenticed to a local tailor, Angel Jones. The tailor’s shop, he said, is where he received his education. He attended Bala Theological College in 1865 but he did not complete his studies, instead returning to Mold, where he resumed work as a tailor. He continued to preach on Sundays.
His interest in literature developed in his early twenties; he published a volume of sermons in 1879. Poor health meant that he increasingly turned to writing and his major works followed – often serialised in the denominational magazines – including Y Dreflan (1881), Rhys Lewis (1885), Enoc Huws (1891), Gwen Tomos (1894), and Straeon y Pentan (1895). He is often called the father of the Welsh novel.
Read more about Daniel Owen here