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Thousands Flock For Flora Day

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6:22am 8th May 2013
(Updated 6:22am 8th May 2013)

It is Helston Flora Day, with thousands descending on the town for the centuries old May tradition.

Eighty couples and more than a thousand children dance through the streets and weave in and out of houses to welcome in the spring.

The most famous of the dances is the midday dance when women wear their finest frocks while men turn out in their top hats and tails.

Lily of the valley, Helston's traditional flower, is decked around the town, with men wearing it on the left, with the flowers pointing upwards. The ladies wear it upside down on the right.

Months of preparation has gone into the event.

Nigel Pascoe is on the organising committee. He said: "I was brought up to believe Christmas day is OK - but it's only five months to Flora Day. So it's been drummed into us from a very early age.

"It's a day when a lot of ex-pats come home from far away. The lovely thing is to see people stood around, holding up telephones. They're obviously relaying the music to somebody who may be on the other side of the world and can't get here to see it.

"We know Flora Day is in safe hands because there are so many youngsters who are as enthusiastic as the older people."

Among those younger people are Hannah, Peter and Lauren who are leading the children's dance this year.

You can hear their thoughts about taking part in the famous tradition here...

The dances dates back centuries. You can see the top hats and tail coats winding their way through the town in the 1930s here.

6:22am 8th May 2013

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