History of May Day in Padstow
The true origin of May Day has been lost in time, some say it’s roots are in pagan times, a fertility symbol, a welcome to summer, others a deterrent to a possible landing by the French some centuries ago.
The people of Padstow dress in white and follow either the ‘blue ribbon’ oss, also known as the ‘peace oss’ or the ‘old’ oss, also known as the ‘red oss’.
The different osses are led through the streets of Padstow by a Master of Ceremonies, accompanied by singers, dancers and a band of drums, accordions and melodeons.
The oss is carried by different men and dances, accompanied by a teaser. Above is Dave in the Blue Ribbon Oss being teased by Emma-Kate. When not in the oss or teasing, Em and Dave play the melodeon and drum in the band.
For locals May Day is a day to celebrate with family and friends, continue the traditions of our ancestors and remember those who loved it. Our children are born with the drumbeat in their hearts and Padstonians return to their roots from all over the world.
Every year thousands of people visit Padstow to watch the celebrations and enjoy the festivities.