Obby Oss, Padstow
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Obby Oss celebrations in Padstow

Thousands of people thronged the streets of Padstow in Cornwall for the historic Obby Oss celebrations - the annual May Day event to welcome the summer.

Fierce-looking masks and black frames adorn the two horses - red for the Old Oss and blue for the Blue Ribbon Oss, also known as the Peace Oss.

Family loyalties usually dictate whether Padstownians adorn their white outfits with blue or red flashes to show which oss they support.

Led by "teasers", the osses are paraded through the town accompanied by dancers, drums and accordions.

During the various dances young women may be "dragged" under the cloak of the oss as a portrayal of a fertility rite. It was once said that women caught beneath the veil would be pregnant within the year.

  • 01 May 2012
  • From the section England