a competition, taking place every year, in which a singers or groups of singers from many countries in the European Broadcasting Area sing songs specially written for the occasion. Groups of judges from each country then choose the winner by a system of points. Many people criticize the quality of the songs, but the contest is watched on television by many millions of people. It started in 1956 with 10 countries taking part, and there are now over 30. Over 50 countries have taken part at least once.