Padstow 'Obby 'Oss Day

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When: 01 May 2013

Cost: Free

Opening hours: 9am-6pm

Website: Visit website

Padstow

Padstow

May Day (or 'Obby 'Oss Day as it is known) is the biggest day in Padstow's calendar. It is not unusual to see 30,000 people crammed into this little town on the day when Padstonians from all over the world return to their roots. The origins of the Obby Oss are numerous. Some say the celebration has its roots in pagan times, others that it's a rain maker, a fertility symbol, a deterrent to a possible landing by the French some centuries ago or perhaps a welcome to the summer.

What happens?

Locals spend the night decorating the town’s streets with flags, flowers and greenery complete with a maypole and the following morning two "osses", one red and one blue emerge from their stables. The “osses”, swirling and dancing proceed through Padstow's streets taunted by a Teazer, who leads the dance with theatrical movements. The accompanying retinue are dressed all in white with their costumes decorated with ribbons and sprays of cowslips and bluebells. As the procession moves around the town, dancers perform a traditional gyrating dance to the sound of musicians and drummers. Last, but not least, are the followers, young and old who join the procession every year singing of the traditional May Song.

Nearby campsite: Tregurrian Club Site

Visitor information

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Venue address

North Quay
Padstow, Cornwall

Directions

Follow signs to Padstow. Car parks and streets in the old town are closed to traffic so get there early. There is a field at the top of the town near the Tesco supermarket where a park and ride service is available.

Location

Event details can change.

Please check with the organisers that the event is happening before making travel arrangements.

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