A Feast of Festivals

A Feast of Festivals

Any excuse for a party

In Cornwall, we love an occasion! Anniversaries, the changing of the seasons and traditional sports all provide the excuse for a lively celebration. You'll find, therefore, that special events are circled in every calendar.

Music, dance and street entertainment are a feature of, not just the Helston Flora Day, but of the Golowan Festival in Penzance and exciting local carnivals. The Cornish identity is still strong. The Eisteddfod of Cornwall takes place in the spring and Lowendar Peran - a festival of Celtic arts and music - is in the autumn. St. Piran's Day is celebrated across Cornwall on the 5th March each year.

The Royal Cornwall Show, is an agricultural show organised by the The Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, which takes place at the beginning of June each year, at the Wadebridge show-ground.

Several other smaller agricultural shows take place in various locations across the county during July and August.

The 1st of May sees Padstow celebrate the Obby Oss, decorated with the first greenery of the year, bluebells, cowslips, forget-me-nots, the catkins of hazel and sycamore twigs heavy with the first leaves of Spring, and the procession - teaser and the dancers, singers and the unique 'May Song', and musicians playing a hypnotic tune. Accordions, drums, triangles. The followers dressed in white with red or blue sashes coming before the Oss, all to celebrate the coming of Spring.

There are classical concerts in Truro Cathedral and other fine churches, under the auspices of the Three Spires Festival and following the Master Classes of the International Musicians Seminars. Choral, chamber and baroque music are the focus of the St. Endellion and East Cornwall Bach Festivals. New Orleans comes to Cornwall for the Bude Jazz Festival while Truro has an International Festival of Music and Dance. If you want to try clogging or broom dancing you can try out some steps at the Cornwall Folk Festival.

The work of Sir John Betjeman was largely inspired by Cornwall and Betjeman Week in May provides an insight and appreciation of his work, in the area which he loved.

There are the inspiring literary festivals at Fowey in May and at St. Germans in July.

Relive Cornwall's dramatic past at the re-enactment of the Civil War Battle of Stamford Hill and recall, on Trevithick Day at Camborne, that the county's engineers and miners spearheaded industrial technology. Steam rallies are still popular throughout the Duchy.

There is still a strong maritime tradition. Cornwall has, after all, over 300 miles of coast. As well as surfing and surf life saving events, you'll be fascinated by gig racing, trawler racing and dignified Cornish luggers, sailed as they always have been. Penzance hosts a special Sea and Sail Festival in June and July.

Look to the skies for major airborne events such as the Air Days at RNAS St. Mawgan, near Newquay. And what would be more colourful than the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show at Boconnoc.

On the 23rd December Tom Bawcock's Eve is celebrated in Mousehole complete with Christmas lights.

Cornwall Tourist Board       Cornish Calendar