Welcome to the first Cornwall Corner, a place for everything “Kernewek” (Cornish). I will be telling you about up and coming events and giving you a roundup of last month’s events.
I will also be including some interesting facts regarding our history and culture, as well as an introduction to our language.
In fact I think I will kick off the first months column with the “Kernewek” for “Up the Borough!” it’s “Deun yn-rag an Vurjestra!”
Let’s cheer the boys on next season in Cornish.
“Deun yn-rag an Vurjestra!”
Padstow celebrates Mayday in a unique way, and the custom that has been carried out by Padstonians over centuries has not been allowed to die out. The exact origins of the tradition is unknown, but like other festivals during spring it is thought to be connected with the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane.
C.S. Gilbert wrote about what he saw there almost 200 years ago:
‘There is an annual jubilee kept up at Padstow, on May 1st, known by the name of the Hobby Horse, in illusion to which, the inhabitants dress up a man in a horses skin, and lead him through the different streets. This odd looking animal amuses, by many whimsical exploits, the crowd which follows at his heels, particularly by taking up water dirty water, wherever it is found, and throwing it into the mouths of his gaping companions. These tricks naturally produce shouts of laughter, and the merriments are accompanied by songs made for the occasion. The origin of the festival appears to be unknown.’
Taken from ‘Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall’, published in 1820.
Before the First world war there was only one hobby horse in Padstow, the old oss, but in 1919 the blue ribbon obby oss the was introduced. Also know as the temperance oss, its supporters tried to discourage the drunkeness associated with the custom. There are records of a few attempts to tackle the sometimes raucous behaviour asscociated with the festival, but none have ever worked. During 1837 some residents did not approve of people firing pistols in the air during the celebrations, and so rallied together to try and stop it by putting up posters which threatened people who did fire guns with a fine.
Forthcoming events – May
May 1st – Obby Oss at Padstow
May 2nd – May 6th – Cornwall international Male Voice Choir Festival, concerts at various venues around Cornwall. Details: https://www.cimcf.uk/
May 8th – Flora Day, Helston. The first dance is at 7am, followed by the children’s dance, and then the midday dance. There is also the Hal-an-tow. http://www.helstonfloraday.org.uk/
May 11th – 10am – 1pm – Dalva an yeth – language forum. Venue TBC
May 12th – 3pm St Michael’s Church Helston – Cornish language chuch service for St Michael the Protector.
May 19th – LostFest at Lostwithiel
May 24th – June 2nd – Fal River Festival
I hope you enjoyed my little post and manage to get to some of the events, remember, “Deun yn-rag an Vurjestra!”
Oll an gwella
(All the best)