Home » Destinations, Events » Check Out This Year’s ‘Obby ‘Oss (or May Day) Celebrations in Padstow


Visitors to cottages in Cornwall at the start of May each year can take the time to visit a very special May Day celebration in the town of Padstow, not far from the popular village of Wadebridge.

Each year the inhabitants of the town put on one of the more bizarre May Day carnivals that you’ll find in the UK. Rather than hosts of floats from different groups and organisations, everybody involved with the parade (and there are quite a few of them) will wear white and either play an instrument or dance through the streets in a much less organised fashion than you might expect from an event of this sort.

The event has the Old ‘Oss and the Peace ‘Oss dancing through the town, surrounded by their followers and a number of Junior ‘Osses. ‘Obby ‘Oss is itself from Cornish dialect and means Hobby Horse. The Old ‘Oss, seen in the video below, will attempt to trap young maidens under its skirts. Those who get caught are sure to become pregnant within the year.

The two ‘Osses then meet at the May Pole and dance around each other. It’s a lively and bizarre event, perfect for any visitors to come and enjoy. Below, we’ve a video from this year’s festival.

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