St Ives Feast Day 2015
St Ives Feast Day 2015 presented by Councillor Linda Taylor Mayor of St Ives. Feast Day always falls on a Monday at the beginning of February, and this year it was February 9th.
The feast day falls on February 9 and starts off with the mayor’s civic procession for the blessing at St Ia Well near Porthmeor Beach followed by the start of the boisterous hurling of the silver ball when participants attempt to win the ball off each other around the town. Whoever returns the ball to the mayor on the steps of St Ives Guildhall on the stroke of midday receives a silver coin. In the afternoon, pennies are proffered from the balcony by town councillors to the waiting children on the Guildhall forecourt.
Taking place in one of Cornwall’s most popular seaside towns, watching the hurling is an intriguing insight into one of Cornwall’s most ancient traditions. Take a ring side seat near the beach and cheer for your favourite participant, some of whom dive into the chilly sea to escape with the ball.
This year, Feast Day was Monday 9 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.