Helston, the Cornish market town, is where the townsfolk have celebrated and enjoyed the wonderful tradition that is Flora Day for hundreds of years.
It is a Spring festival to celebrate the end of winter and mark the arrival of the new vitality and fertility with the trees and flowers bursting into life. The houses and shops of the town are decorated with greenery and floral arrangements to express the spirit of renewal.
When the big bass drum strikes the first beat of the dance at 7am, the spirit of the day is stirred and the celebrations commence. Some eighty couples dance through the streets, entering selected houses and shops to drive out the darkness of winter and bring in the light of spring.
The colourful pageant known as Hal-an-Tow, tells the history of Helston. Participating characters sing about the challenge of the Spanish Armada, the English patron saint, St. George and the fight between St Michael and the devil.
This year (2017), Flora Day will be celebrated on Saturday 6th May.