Helston Flora Day

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8 May 2009

Home of the 'Furry Dance' To the beat of a big drum, elegant gentlemen and their ladies dance in and out f churches, shops and houses.

Flora Day is held every year on May 8th except when this date falls on a Sunday or Monday, then it is held on the preceding Saturday. This celebration is believed to be pre-Christian and at one time during the Victorian era was banned as being "a drunken revelry." The whole town is decorated with local greenery and bluebells which grow in millions in the surrounding countryside.

To the beat of the big base drum, elegant gentlemen and their ladies dance in and out of Churches, shops and houses. The day starts with the 7.00 am dance (originally for the servants of the gentry) with the Gentlemen wearing shirt and tie and the ladies wearing light summer dresses. This is followed by a boisterous dance cum play called the Hal-an-Tow. Verses of this have reference to Robin Hood, the Spanish Armada and St George and the dragon.