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Padstow's Obby Oss has been cancelled

Padstow's Obby Oss has been cancelled

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 9:41am 19th March 2020. (Updated at 9:47am 19th March 2020)

Another big event in the Cornish calendar has been cancelled as it becomes a casualty of the coronavirus.

Every year, people flock to the town of Padstow as the red and the blue Osses parade through the streets marking the start of summer.

The centuries' old tradition begins with singing followed by the town being decked with flags and greenery.

But organisers have now announced that the event for 2020 has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It joins the likes of Helston's Flora Day, which has also been cancelled, and the Royal Cornwall Show, which has been postponed until September.

"The Old Oss and Blue Ribbon Obby Oss parties jointly announce, with regret, that the Padstow May Day celebrations for this year will be cancelled and will return in 2021."

Obby Oss organisers

obby oss padstow
Padstow's Obby Oss has been cancelled for 2020 because of coronavirus

What do we know about Obby Oss?

C.S. Gilbert wrote about what he saw there almost 200 years ago:

"There is an annual jubilee kept up at Padstow, on May 1st, known by the name of the Hobby Horse, in illusion to which, the inhabitants dress up a man in a horses skin, and lead him through the different streets.

"This odd looking animal amuses, by many whimsical exploits, the crowd which follows at his heels, particularly by taking up water dirty water, wherever it is found, and throwing it into the mouths of his gaping companions.

"These tricks naturally produce shouts of laughter, and the merriments are accompanied by songs made for the occasion. The origin of the festival appears to be unknown".

Taken from 'Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall', published in 1820.

Watch archive footage from Obby Oss, back in the 1930s...

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