St Ives Feast Day 2013

Feast Day always falls on the first Monday after February 3rd, the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St., Eia in 1434. Lelant Feast is on February 2nd and in earlier times it was the custom for St. Ives to play Lelant in the famous ‘Hurling’ of the silver ball, a kind of naturalistic rugby march, retained by other notable towns like St. Columb near Newquay.

This year, Feast Day was Monday 7 February, with:

  • the Mayoral Parade to St Ia Well leaving the St Ives Guildhall at 9.30am
  • Hurling of the Silver Ball from the Parish Church at 10.30am
  • the Western Hunt leaves Royal Square at 11.00am
  • The Mayor gives pennies to children aged under 7 at the Guildhall at 11.30am
  • The Silver Ball is returned to the Mayor at the Guildhall at 12.00 noon,
  • then pennies are proferred from the balcony by town councillors to the waiting children on the Guildhall forecourt.

Hurling the Silver Ball is one of Cornwall’s most ancient and intriguing customs. The game, also known as Cornish Hurling, dates back at least one thousand years, is of unknown origin, and involves much physical rough and tumble as each side (traditionally the ‘countrymen’ and ‘townsmen’ of a particular parish) tries to keep possession of a cricket ball-sized ball made of apple wood coated in silver. These days, Cornish Hurling has all but disappeared, although it is still played once a year in St Ives and St Columb Major, near Newquay.

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