St Ives Feast Day 2016 – St Ives Holidays

A very St Ives tradition presented by the Mayor of St Ives, Councillor Linda Taylor. ansum.

Video commissioned by St Ives Holidays:

The St Ives Feast is an ancient tradition that celebrates the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 AD and offers a rare chance to watch the game of Hurling the Silver Ball, a centuries old form of rugby.

This year, St Ives Feast day falls on February 8 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.

St Ives Feast day is 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.

Hurling the Silver Ball is one of Cornwall’s oldest customs dating back at least a thousand years. Of unknown origin, the game 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.

St Ives Feast Day 2016 - St Ives Holidays

St Ives Feast Day 2016 – St Ives Holidays

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1 Comment

  • Superb as always. Well done to Alban again for portraying one of our old Local Traditions so well and to the resident mayor of St Ives for her explanation to those who visit St Ives wondering what this special day is all about.