> Lily of the Valley
Helston Furry dance
Helston’s greatest claim to fame is the internationally famous festival of the Furry, or Flora Dance. This is held every year on May 8th unless that day falls on a Sunday or Monday, when it is held on the preceding Saturday.
Car parks are set up all outside the town so all the visitors can walk in. Thousands of visitors throng the streets all day and there’s a carnival atmosphere from dawn to well into the night.
You’ll find the town decked out with bluebells, gorse, laurel leaves and colourful flags. Dancing begins at 7.00 am, and at 8.30 there’s the mummers’play known as the Hal-an-Tow, at several venues throughout the town. Watch St George and St Michael slay the Dragon and the Devil, cheered on by a crowd dressed in Lincoln green and Elizabethan robes.
The children of the town dance at 10.00 am, at midday there’s the principal dance, with invited participants in top hats, tails and dress gowns; and a final dance at 5.00 pm. The dancers weave in and out of the shops, houses, and gardens, whilst behind them the Helston Band play the famous Flora Dance tune.
The origins of the dance are certainly pre-Christian, and are connected with ancient spring festivals all over Europe. Nowadays its ancient intention of ushering in prosperous harvests goes hand in hand with the splash of colour all over the town, the joyous music, and high spirits of all involved.
We manufacture our own unique range of jewellery designed by Sarah Corbridge depicting the beautiful Lily of the Valley flower – the official emblem of Flora Day worn by all dancers.
View the range here.
From the very beginning when Sarah began making Lily of the Valley jewellery, she has signed and numbered a certificate of authenticity (shown below) for each item of jewellery. If you yourself have an item of jewellery with our certificate of authenticity, please let us know on Facebook or Twitter, we’d be delighted to hear from you!