It’s May 8th — Let’s Do the Furry Dance!

Janis Hunt Johnson
Every Day is a Holiday
4 min readMay 8, 2023

--

The Furry Dance, Helston, Cornwall — Gary Dawes

What’s furry about it?

Cornwall, the picturesque southwestern tip of England, is one of the most attractive regions of the United Kingdom, dotted with lots of charming harbor villages and scenic seaside resorts. Nestled in this “Cornish Riviera” is the idyllic market town of Helston, where the residents there have been celebrating the coming of Spring every May 8th* by getting together to do the Furry Dance!

There are a number of stories about the origin of the word furry. It could be a garbled version of the word flora, since some folks still call it Flora Day (originally the ancient holiday honoring the Roman goddess of flowers). Or, it might come from the Cornish word fer, which means “festival,” “fair,” and “rejoicing.” Maybe it’s from the Old English word faddy, meaning “to go forward in a dance.” No one knows for sure, but everyone is keen to join in.

All of Helston dances together.

Like many Spring celebrations around the world, Helston’s tradition starts at the end of April with the gathering of branches. Flowers and leaves are collected to make festive headdresses. Residents adorn public…

--

--

Janis Hunt Johnson
Every Day is a Holiday

Author, 5 Smooth Stones: Our Power to Heal Without Medicine through the Science of Prayer. Transformational Editor. From Chicago to L.A., now in Pacific NW.