8th May is Helston Flora Day

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Helston Flora Day is a traditional festival held annually on May 8th in the town of Helston, in the south of Cornwall. It is one of the oldest and most vibrant celebrations of its kind, dating back centuries and deeply rooted in the local culture and history of Cornwall.

The festival is a joyful celebration of the arrival of spring, marked by colourful processions, music, dance, and floral displays. The highlight of Helston Flora Day is the series of dances performed by locals, known as “The Furry Dance.” This traditional dance involves participants, both young and old, forming a procession through the town’s streets, holding hands, and dancing to the lively tunes played by the town band. The dance route, known as the “Hal-an-Tow,” weaves its way through the town, passing by homes, shops, and historic landmarks.

One of the distinctive features of Helston Flora Day is the elaborate floral decorations that brighten up the town. Buildings, streets, and even participants’ clothing are adorned with colourful flowers and ribbons, creating a visually stunning spectacle. Traditional Cornish flowers such as bluebells, daffodils, and azaleas are commonly used in these displays, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Helston Flora Day is not just a celebration for locals; it attracts visitors from all over Cornwall and beyond. The festival’s inclusive nature encourages everyone to join in the festivities, whether they’re participating in the dances, enjoying the music, having a refreshing drink, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere.

Over the years, Helston Flora Day has become an integral part of Cornwall’s cultural calendar, preserving traditional customs and bringing communities together in a spirit of joy and camaraderie. It’s a day when old traditions meet modern celebrations, creating a magical experience that captivates all who attend.

So, if you ever find yourself in Cornwall in early May, it is worth a journey to experience the magic of Helston Flora Day for yourself. It’s a celebration of spring, community, and the rich cultural heritage of this beautiful corner of England.