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From Obby Oss to Furry Dance

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Pen McClymont

The usual flurry of spring festivals has seen us out and about and enjoying all that Cornwall has to offer in such abundance in May.  Seemingly endless sunny weather vanished suddenly and with a certain amount of irony, just in time for some of the major Cornish festivals.  You had to be at Padstow’s Obby Oss early to see much dryth (is that still a word?!) with the rain taking a firm hold later on.  Another beautiful week weatherwise separated the May Day celebrations up and down the county from Helston’s Flora Day, by which time the rain was in clear evidence again all day, clearing up just after the crowds had departed following the last dance of the day!Maypole at Padstow's Obby Oss celebrations

It may have put off a visitor or two, but there was no evidence of the locals being in anyway perturbed.  It was a real pleasure this year to see the two events back to back as it were, and to enjoy the similarities and differences between them.  Central to both was the commitment of the townsfolk to getting stuck in – I would be tempted to live in either one solely on the basis of these single events each year!  With flags flying and local hostelries open from dawn till dusk, nothing was going to stop the revelries. Brass bands in Helston compared to massed drums and accordions in Padstow, an ancient dance and re-enactment by townsfolk in their finest as opposed to two rather badly behaved whirling horses and their retinues, but the common element is the music.  Two quite different beats, but as the drums start I defy anyone not to be stirred, nor to be humming the tune for days after. 

Dancing up Coinagehall Street, Helston's Flora Dance

The beauty of attending Flora Day with the Evocative Cornwall stall was being able to enjoy the spectacle of the whole day playing out around you, from before first light until the streets emptied.  A similar, if somewhat shorter and drier, effect can be enjoyed by watching this clip from 3HW Architecture and Design Limited.  Both events celebrate people coming together, and I think this illustrates that rather well!

Pen

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