Midsummer: the longest day, that special time of the year, when we are most inclined towards the Sun and to celebrate life.
Golowan Festival – Penzance June 16th-25th
Golowan, the Penzance most colourful Midsummer Festival, blend Cornish tradition with contemporary imagery and rituals. Full agenda, most of the community events will be:
Mazey Day- Saturday 24th June 2017
Mazey Day the height of the celebration and centres around the parades: local schools and organizations first and then at 16:45
“Men and Maids dance the Serpent Dance” through the streets of Penzance with the Golowan Band.
Quay Day- Sunday 27th June 2017
Stalls and musical events are held on the quay front. This day has a much more laid back feel to it, and is the perfect way to end the festivities.
Interesting report from victorian times, it looks like the festival has not changed much:
“In Penzance, and in nearly all the parishes of West Penwith, immediately after nightfall on the eves of St John and St Peter, the 23rd and 28th of June, lines of tar-barrels, occasionally broken by bonfires were simultaneously lighted in all the streets, whilst, at the same time, bonfires were kindled on all the cairns and hills around Mounts Bay, throwing the outlines in bold relief against the sky. ”
The villagers, linked in circles hand-in-hand, danced round them to preserve themselves against witchcraft, and when they burnt low, one person here and there detached himself from the rest and leaped through the flames to insure himself from some special evil. The old people counted these fires and drew a presage from them”
Midsummer’s Eve Bonfire Celebrations
On June 23rd Old Cornwall Society lights the beacon at Chapel Carn Brea near St Just: spectacular views from the most westerly hill in Britain.