Spring is here, and if anyone knows how to celebrate it the Cornish do! Our traditional May Day celebrations are steeped in folklore and attract revellers in their thousands, so it’s well worth a visit!
Obby ‘Oss Day
Padstow, 1 May 2017
One of the biggest day’s in Padstow’s calendar, Obby Oss day is celebrated with two dramatic processions around the town, representing different groups of the community. The two ‘osses’ dance and swirl their way along the route, led by a ‘teaser’ and followed by locals in traditional white costume dancing and singing. The celebrations often attract over 30,000 visitors so it really is quite a spectacle!
Helston, 6 May 2017
Also known as the ‘Furry Dance’, celebrations in Helston begin early! At 7am around 80 couples dance through the streets, in and out of shops and houses to welcome the spring. This is followed by recreations of the tale of St George and the dragon before the children’s dance at 10am and the main dance of the day at 12pm, with couples in morning dress and magnificent ballgowns. You’ll also find stalls with Cornish produce and crafts, as well as a fairground.
St Ives May Day
1 May 2017
Organised by the local Rotary Club, the St Ives celebrations have more in common with what you may see up-country, with the day beginning with choosing of a May Queen, King, Price and Princess. A traditional procession through the town to the harbour then gets underway, followed by Maypole dancing on the beach. Throughout the day local choirs and bands will be performing, and a fish barbecue on the harbour providing nourishment!