Sundial Photographics - Images of Cornwall

GOLOWAN FESTIVAL Penzance Mazey Day

The Golowan Festival takes it's name from the Cornish 'Gol-Jowan' or the Feast of St. John and this was the Christianised form of the ancient Pagan midsummer fire festival that was widely celebrated. The Golowan Festival was revived in 1991 in the form of Penzance Mazey Day, the first of which was an experimental collaboration between Alverton C.P.School, local council and the Kneehigh Theatre Group and proved a great success.

 The resulting annual festival has now grown to incorporate a fortnight of diverse celebration and special events including theatre, dance, storytelling, concerts, poetry and informative talks leading up to and culminating in Mazey Day itself when townspeople and visitors are treated to the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Mazey Day Parade with it's colourful procession of costume, banners and magnificent larger-than-life creations; many of which have taken much of the preceding year to construct.

Market stalls line the streets and music and other diverse forms of  entertainment take place around the town throughout the day. Each year adults and children alike are invited to take part in the Serpent Dance; an ancient ritual last practiced over a century ago. The midsummer fire aspect of the festival is marked by an evening firework display at the town's Jubilee pool.

 Mazey Day itself takes place annually on the nearest Saturday to the Summer Solstice and is followed by Quay Fair Day with more market stalls and street entertainment in the town’s harbour area.

A thousand photographs could not encapsulate the unique atmosphere that prevails on Mazey day but I have nevertheless attempted to provide a glimpse or a taste of this visual feast limiting myself to the following one hundred images taken from my photographic archives.

GOLOWAN FESTIVAL PICTURE GALLERY


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