June 20th to 29th June 2014
The Golowan festival (Cornish for midsummer) is the festival of St. John and is held in Penzance each year in late June. Although it is an old tradition, it was revived by a group of artists and local schools in 1991 in order to remember the local area heritage. The festival is ten days long, culminating in the Mazey weekend and notably Mazey Day on the Saturday.
Golowan was one of the last mid summer festivals practiced in Cornwall. In the 1890’s, the Penzance government outlawed the festival due to the rising insurance premiums for the towns business community. Traditionally the towns streets were lined with alight tar barrels which were paraded around. The surrounding hills had bonfires set at the top, throwing dancing shadows all around mounts bay and beyond.
The modern Golowan is arguably a little less dangerous. The celebration of the area's arts and culture attracts thousands of visitors to West Cornwall from local towns and as far as the Asian continent and further. The Golowan Festival brings around a million pounds to the local economy. The core of the celebrations is Mazey Day, when the streets are filled with market stalls and entertainers and the town's school children parade up and down Market Jew Street, setting out from St.Johns Hall, holding aloft large paper mache and wicker creations. It truly is a sight to behold, with some figures being larger than the building around them. The weekend begins with Mazey Eve and ends with the Quay Fair.
Golowan Festival 2014 - Dates to Remember
Mazey Eve- Friday 27th June 2014
Penglaz, the Penzance obby oss is let loose around the quay area, leading a procession of dancers and musicians. There is a fair held next to jubilee pool and there is many music events in the surrounding area, including a large music tent at the quay.
Mazey Day- Saturday 28th June 2014
Mazey Day centres around the parades and other street events in the centre of town.
Quay Day- Sunday 29th June 2014
Stalls and musical events are held on the quay front. This day has a much more laid back feel to it, and is the perfect way to end the festivities.
Videos from the Golowan Festival