Helston Flora Day 2018 was a brilliant, colourful affair. I'd like to say the day started off bright and sunny, but it dawned grey and dull. Never mind, the day...
We went to the Penzance Montol celebrations last night, to celebrate the winter solstice and the end of the shortest day.
Our evening started with a meal at the Admiral Benbow, which I believe is the oldest inn in Penzance, and it is worth visiting this pub for the decor alone. The pub/restaurant is crammed with artefacts from ships and diving equipment and is actually done out like a ship inside.
As soon as we arrived in Chapel Street, Penzance, it was obvious that we were in for a treat with all the strange and wonderful costumes people were wearing.
Penzance Montol Celebrations
The Penzance Montol celebrations are held on 21st December annually and mark the winter solstice. Montol eve is held on the traditional date of the feast of St Thomas the Apostle. The custom was revived several years ago and at the heart of the festival is the “guise” dancing and processions throughout the town. Early in the evening, a “lord of misrule” is chosen and later in the evening, the Montol ‘Oss appears and the ceremony of the “chalking of the mock” takes place. “The mock” is the Cornish yule log, which is marked with the representation of a stick man’.
The first procession starts earlier inn the evening, and wends its way up to the site of an ancient hill fort in Penzance, but I think the best time to attend is just before 10pm in Chapel Street, Penzance. The atmosphere is wonderful and anarchic and I love it!