Folk Traditions and Rituals #25
Custom: ‘Obby ‘Oss
About: The origins of this one are unclear, but its a centuries old tradition (the Independent believes it may be the oldest dance festival in Europe). Padstow is dressed in May Day greenery, and two ‘Obby ‘Osses (hobby horses) parade through the streets, lead by the ‘Teazer’. The Blue ‘oss and the Red ‘oss jump and turn around town, trying to pick up ‘young maidens’ as they go, followed by a huge procession of dancers, accordion players and singers. Lots of day time drinking, starting in morning darkness. The ‘osses retire to their stables at some point in the evening but the partying continues into the wee hours.