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Padstow May Day
May Day (or ‘Obby ‘Oss Day as it is known) is the biggest day in Padstow’s calendar.
The origins of the Obby Oss are numerous. Some say the celebration has its roots in pagan times, others that it’s a rainmaker, a fertility symbol, a deterrent to a possible landing by the French some centuries ago or perhaps a welcome to the summer.
Locals spend the night decorating the town’s streets, the most important aspect being the 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. As the procession moves around the town, dancers perform a traditional dance to the sound of musicians. Last, but not least, are the followers, young and old who join the procession every year singing the traditional May Song.