""All together in the floral dance!"" Top 5 Page for this destination Helston Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Helston, Cornwall: 5 reviews and 10 photos

  The children's dance
by TheWanderingCamel
  • The children's dance - Cornwall
      The children's dance
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Top hat and tails - Cornwall
      Top hat and tails
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • St Michael and St George - Cornwall
      St Michael and St George
    by TheWanderingCamel

The Helston Furry dance takes place on the 8th May every year, unless this date falls on a Sunday or a Monday in which case the festival is moved to the previous Saturday.

It surely had its origin in pagan times as a celebration of spring. The town is decked in greenery, and the dances traditionally take place through the town, into and out of the main office buildings and houses.

The first dance starts at 7am, and was originally intended for the servants of the gentry. All the dancers wear lily of the valley, on their clothes or (for the ladies) in their hair. The Children's Dance starts at 10am; and involves more than 1000 children, aged from 7 to 8, all dressed in white. The principal dance is at midday, and is by invitation only. The ladies wear evening dress and the men grey top hats and tails! The Mayor, wearing his chain of office, leads off the procession. And the final dance at 5pm is for the visitors, most of whom join in with enthusiasm.

The dancers are driving out the memory of Winter and bringing with them the warmth and blessings of Summer.

The mummers are around as well : Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, St George and St Michael tour the town, stopping at designated points to act out battles in which good defeats evil. In their procession they sing the ancient "Hal an Tow" song :

With Hal-an-Tow! Jolly Rumble, O!
For we are up as soon as any day, O!
And for to fetch the Summer home,
The Summer and the May, O,
For Summer is a-come, O,
And Winter is a-gone, O.

Address: Helston
Directions: Helston is on the Lizard, and lies midway between Falmouth and Penzance at the junction of the A394 and A3083,
Phone: 01326.565.431
Website: http://www.helston-online.co.uk

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 15, 2006
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