Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Happy Flora Faddy Furry Dance Day

On Flora Day (today!) in Helston in Cornwall, the whole town take to the streets from seven am to seven pm and hold a series of mass dances to a melody called 'John the Bone' performed by local brass and silver bands (the tune was incorporated into the more famous Floral Dance and taken into the charts by Terry Wogan).

A wearying, hypnotic, ancient tradition its origins are, of course, mysterious, but the dance serves a dual purpose: a Pagan celebration of Beltane (the triumph of light over darkness, life over death, i.e. the end of Winter) and a Christian festival for Saint George, who reputedly saved the town from Satan, and the archangel Michael, the patron saint of Cornwall.

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