People were out in mass throughout Thursday celebrating Helston’s favourite date in the calendar, Flora Day.
The streets and pubs were occupied by young and old, Cornish and ‘foreign’ as the Furry Dance made its way through the streets of the second oldest town in Cornwall.
Accompanied by a pint at all times, the flora day spirit was embraced and, like most people there, our monthly allowance of Spingo was consumed in one day.
As per usual, the Blue Anchor, which brews Spingo inside, was the site of many of the festivities especially the boozey ones, it was there that I caught up with Paris Taylor to find out he thoughts on the day. 21 year-old Paris danced in the Flora day procession for years as a child, and although she no longer participates, she’s still there every year to celebrate alongside thousands of others.
“I love Flora Day! It brings the community together,” she explains. “It’s only a Helston tradition, nobody else has it, and that’s why everyone loves it.”
With separate dances for the children and adults, starting at 7am, The Furry (not to be confused with fury) Dance welcomes the beginning of spring, and the passing of winter. The final dance commences at 5pm. Taking part in the dance is by invitation only after application months in advance.
The 8th of May marks the ancient festival every year in and the furry dance is one of the oldest British traditions still practiced today.
The dancers do so to the sound of the Helston Town Band, who for generations have kept them in time purely from memory, as the fury dance music has never been written down.