Where: Helston, Cornwall
What is it?
On Friday 8th May the Cornish market town of Helston will be celebrating Flora Day. This spring festival has taken place annually for hundreds of years, to mark the end of winter and the arrival springtime with trees and flowers bursting into life. As part of the celebration the houses and shops of Helston are decorated with greenery and floral arrangements.
The Flora Day kicks off at 7am, at the Guildhall, with a morning dance. Every year around eighty couples dance through the streets, entering houses and shops to drive out the darkness of winter and bring in the light of spring. The dance commences as soon as the Helston Town Band start up their drums.
This is followed at 8.30am by Hal an Tow, a colourful pageant telling the history of Helston. Pageant characters sing about the Spanish Armada, St George, and the fight between St Michael and the devil. Then at 9.40am the Children’s Dance begins from Wendron Street.
At Midday, the elegant dance begins from the Guildhall, just as the town clock strikes twelve. The dance then makes its way through the town with the men dressed in top hats and tails, escorting their colourful and beautifully dressed ladies. The day ends with an Evening Dance, starting from the Guildhall at 5pm.
More info: www.helstonfloraday.org.uk