Ah these November days in Cornwall we’ve had a little of this weather and a little of that weather this week but generally I do think we’ve been lucky. Some days have dawned when the house cats have resembled hibernating hamsters, tightly curled up and wrapped in their tails yet with the extraordinary instinct of cats for sunshine, they have set out to sunbathe on the gravel terraces as soon as sun has come through. Meet Wilbur our feral friend
The garden has grown lush with the autumn rains and the young horses have been brought in to the stables to sleep at night for the winter, after their long summer at grass. What tall fine fellows they have all turned into. after their nights sleeping under the stars above the lights of Mounts bay and days feasting on the rich summer grass. We have two more ready to start training now in the shape of Magic and Toffee, in our winter “spare time” when our B&B guests mostly come for the weekends (but we’d love to see you in the week too!!)
The nights have really closed in now of course and we are counting the days until the shortest day when it starts to get lighter again, just as our ancestors did, willing the return of long balmy days of summer sunshine. As we ponder the long dark evenings just as our ancestors did I thought I’d take a look at some of the winter festivals that will start this month – take a look if you are planning to come to Cornwall soon.
Winter Festivals in Cornwall
With the long dark nights the winter festivals and celebrations with roots reaching back to our ancient past are starting to be reenacted in towns and villages throughout the West Country Cornwall has many of the old traditions to ward of the dark days of winter.
Truro’s “City of lights”
The festival is the first of the year in these parts, Truro’s City of Lights held on the 20th of November starting at 6.30. It is a romantic, lantern parade to start the winter season that fills the old city with fun and laughter and the magic of the season. The lanterns are not twee little hand held offerings though, before you conjure and earnest scene of silent worthy processions but a fantasia of mythical full sized animals that can be seen for the rest of the year displayed at the Lander gallery and Truro Cathedral.
Mousehole Christmas Lights
Some of our guest come every year to enjoy the festive lights of Mousehole and in a word they are breathtaking, with the harbour filled with serpents and dragons and fantastic bright designs dominated the steep hillside above the fishing village. The cobbled streets of Mousehole will fill with all of the bustle of Christmas but be warned parking spaces are at a premium with quite a long walk in from the furthest roadside parking and restaurants and pubs are booked up for weeks in advance Check out my little eating guide to pre book a table to really soak up the Christmas atmosphere.
The lights will be switched on on the Saturday the 15th of December and then lit nightly from 5.00pm until 11.00pm until the 3rd of January with the exception of the 19th of December then they will be dimmed in memory of the Lifeboat the Solomon Brown who was tragically lost at sea on that very night, as the master bravely maneuvered in mountainous seas, in a desperate attempt to save the lives of a crew of a stricken freighter.
Montol will bhttp://montolfestival.co.uk/e celebrated in Penzance with a theme of light and darkness and is run over six days, culminating with Montol Eve to mark the winter solstice of the 21st December. And again the sheer scope of the local creativity and imagination has given rise nearly a week of lantern and mask making, workshops, strolling bands, carol services, storytelling, Mummers Plays, a ceilidh and late night shopping of course!
Montol Eve will feature two parades with a twist of almost Venetian theatre of masks, as the whirlwind of colour in the passing stream of costumed participants dressed in “mock posh”, ribbons, formal hats and those fabulous traditional masks of course. look out for the first at 6.00p.m leaving St John’s hall, the River of fire with a second torch-lit procession starts in Chapel street at 10.15