Helston Flora is one of my favourite days in the Cornish calendar. I have happy memories of visiting as a teenager and more recently helping my oldest friend in her shop for what is just about the busiest day of the year for the town.
For the uninitiated Flora day is a celebration of the arrival of spring and takes the form of several “dances” through the course of the day. The first is at 7am, followed by the Hal-an-tow (my favourite) the most pagan-rooted part of the day, the Children’s dance, the Furry Dance at mid-day and finally the 5 O’clock.
During the Furry Dance and the 5 O’clock the couples dance an ancient route which involves them often going in and out of the shops and houses. Great fun to watch.
But perhaps my favourite part of the day and most certainly the most rowdy (please remember that the pubs all open at 7am on Flora Day) is the end of the last dance which culminates outside the Guildhall.
The Helston Town Band, who are to me are absolute heroes, play their final round of the song that sticks in your head for days after and there is such a wonderful feeling of warmth and pride. I just love it and this year I recorded those last moments of the day to share with you!