When: 10th February 2014
Where: St Ives, Cornwall
What is it?
On Monday 10th February the town of St Ives celebrates the Feast Day of St Ia. St Ives Feast Day always falls on the first Monday after 3rd February, the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Ia in 1434.
The day’s events start first thing in the morning with a civic parade beginning at the Guildhall and ending at Venton Ia well. The parish priest will then bless a silver ball and following this ceremony the procession returns to the St Ia Parish Church yard for the Hurling the Silver Ball.
The Hurling of the Silver Ball is one of Cornwall’s oldest customs. The Mayor of St Ives will hurl the ball into the awaiting crowd on the beach. The townspeople then attempt to win the ball from one another. The person who manages to claim the silver ball and return it to the Mayor at exactly midday is rewarded with a silver crown.
Following the return of the silver ball commemorative pennies are dropped from the Guildhall balcony by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and town Councillors, to a waiting crowd of children.
This type of Cornish Hurling was once common but now only a handful of places still observe the custom. The ball itself is made of sterling silver which is hammered into two hemispheres and then bound around a core of applewood. The ball is held together with a silver band and usually contains a motto.
More info: www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk