1. Padstow May Day, 1st May
The biggest event in the Padstow calendar is otherwise known as ‘Obby ‘Oss day, which attracts up to 30,000 people a year.
The “osses” dance through Padstow's streets, and followers, young and old join in singing the traditional May Song.
The origins of the Obby Oss is uncertain, some say the celebration has its roots in Pagan times, others that it’s a fertility symbol, or a welcome to the summer. (see the 'Oss below)
2. St Ives Literature Festival, 5th – 12th May
The Festival is nine days long featuring book launches, poetry readings, workshops and open-air events including poetry and prose readings, live music, comedy acts, and creative writing workshops.
3. St Agnes Bolster Festival, 5th – 7th May
A celebration of Cornish music and art featuring life size puppets, a drum band and a 28ft giant effigy re-enacting the famous Cornish legend of the giant called Bolster.
Long ago Cornwall was said to be full of prowling giants and one of them, Bolster, terrorised people on the north coast and regularly ate their children. To celebrate Bolster’s eventual demise, the villagers of St Agnes hold a pageant every year starting with a lantern procession, bonfire and barbeque.
4. English Nation Surf Championships, Newquay 5th – 7th of May
It is the 40th anniversary year of the English National Championships, and we will see up and coming surfers battle it out for the top spot! All of which will be held at premier surfing spot Watergate Bay.
5. Helston Flora Day, 8th May
Helston’s Flora Day is believed to have pre-Christian origins, and is linked to past Pagan spring festivals held all across Europe. Join the visitors and watch the colourful dancers flora their way down the streets.
The main street, and down towards the boating lake, buzzes with many stalls selling local souvenirs, Cornish crafts and food and a big fairground and there's a carnival atmosphere from dawn to well into the night.
6. The Daphne Du Maurier Festival, Fowey 9th May – 20th May
One of Cornwall’s most famous festivals takes place over 10 days celebrating Cornwall’s most well known literary resident, Daphne Du Maurier. In previous years the line up has included Jo Brand, Russell Howard and Tim Rice. The festival marquee is the main venue with stand-up comedy, live music and book talks. All of this takes place in the picture perfect location of Fowey.
7. Olympic Torch Relay in Cornwall, 19th May
The Olympic Flame makes its way around Cornwall; lit in Greece, the Flame arrives at RNAS Culdrose on 18 May 2012. The Flame, which represents peace, unity and friendship, is carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers. The Flame makes its way around the UK in 70 days, and Cornwall is the host for day one. This once in a lifetime event needs to be witnessed.
8. Thundercat Racing, Newquay 19th – 20th May
The Thundercat Racing opening round, of the RYA Thundercat Championships takes place at Watergate Bay. The powerboats will race across the shoreline in circuit races, fighting the incoming surf.
9. St Ives Food and Drink Festival, 21st – 27th May
This festival celebrates local produce and talent in Cornwall, with some of the best chefs in the country giving food demonstrations. A Producers Market on the West Pier features some of Cornwall’s leading food and drink producers displaying, selling, and, most excitingly, giving out samples of their produce!
10. Sparkle under the Spire, Truro 25th May
This unique dinner celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Cathedral Nave will be cleared and the Fifteen restaurant will be providing a delicious menu.