Every May Day, Padstow in Cornwall celebrates the spring holiday a little bit differently to the rest of us. Known locally as ‘Obby ‘Oss Day, the quirky event sees the town come alive with processions and revelry.
Kicking off at midnight on 30th April and continuing well into the next day, the celebrations begin with a sing-song outside the Golden Lion Inn before the town is decorated with flags, greenery and flowers.
In the morning, two processions begin through the town, with the famous masked ‘obby ‘osses leading the pack, followed by ‘teasers’ who lead the dance, and a band of men dressed in white. The processions, which include locals playing drums and accordions, can take most of the day to make their way through the town, before the two groups meet at the Maypole. A traditional May Song is also sung, accompanied by theatrics and dancing from the ‘obby ‘osses.
No one knows for sure how these unusual celebrations began, but it is thought that the purpose was to welcome in the summer. Today the event attracts around 30,000 people to the town to see the unique spectacle.
When: 1st May 2019 (May Day)
Where: Padstow, Cornwall
£: Free (but arrive early as the town gets busy)
More info: www.visitcornwall.com