The origins of the Helston Flora Day Festival – a famous celebration dance are more than likely pre-Christian and connected to ancient spring festivals that take place all over Europe. Nowadays the festival’s original purpose of ushering in a prosperous harvest expresses itself in a lively, colourful celebration that involves the whole town. A great day out.
The town is decked out with bluebells, gorse and laurel leaves gathered from the surrounding countryside. Dancing begins at 7.00am with gentlemen wearing shirts and ties and the ladies in light summer dresses. Not long after the Hal-an-Tow, a boisterous mummers’ play featuring scenes of St George slaying the Dragon begins cheered on by a crowd dressed in Lincoln green and Elizabethan robes. The children of the town dance at 10.00am wearing flowers and lily of the valley and at midday the formal dance of the day begins with men wearing morning dress and the ladies decked out in magnificent ball gowns and hats that could be the envy of Ascot. To round off the day of dancing, the Evening Dance starts from the Guildhall at 5pm.
The Festival’s website offers more information.