Helston, the Cornish market town, where for hundreds of years, the townsfolk have celebrated and enjoyed the wonderful tradition that is Flora Day.
This ancient festival is usually held on 8th May. 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.
All money raised on Flora Day is used to cover costs incurred in organising the day.
When the big bass drum strikes the first beat of the dance at seven in the morning, the spirit of the day is stirred and the celebrations commence. 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 with the participating characters singing about the challenge of the Spanish Armada, the English patron saint, St. George and the fight between St. Michael and the devil.