Monthly Archives - December 2021

Unusual Cornish Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Cornwall is magical and an experience like none other. Cornwall holds a certain charm that attracts visitors who know how wonderful Cornish Christmas traditions can be. It is no surprise that Cornwall is known for its traditional celebrations and festivals. Here are our favourite unusual Cornish Christmas traditions.

Christmas Day Swim in Cornwall

Christmas day swim is a popular Cornish Christmas tradition. It takes place in coastal communities countrywide. The swims are on Christmas and Boxing Day. Whole communities come onto the beaches while dressed in hilarious fancy dresses. Thousands come to support the brave souls going for the swim. It has become a tradition to take to the sea in Santa costumes in recent years. After the swim, they are warmed up with hot flasks of tea and blankets. Christmas day swim provides communities with a fun experience, raising money for charity.

Guise Dancing

Guising or masking, or mumming, has been very popular across the country for centuries. Guise dancing is a vital part of Cornish culture, and it originates from West Cornwall. It is performed during the twelve days of the Christmas celebration, and for some time, it was outlawed for anti-social behaviours. Guise dancing involves players touring villages while donned in masks and animal skins. Even though much of Britain phased this tradition out, Cornwall kept guising since in these villages because they knew each other. There has been a resurgence of guise dancing but without the mischief.

Cornish Bush

The Cornish Bush is similar to other Cornish traditions, and its roots are from Pagan celebrations. The Cornish Bush is a three-dimensional wreath representing life and is made by weaving holly, mistletoe, and ivy around a circle of withy. Traditionally the ring is hung indoors on December 20. To immerse in this Cornish tradition, you should enhance your bush with a candle and light on the eve of 20th December while dancing underneath it to celebrate the God of Light. The mistletoe in the wreath is acknowledged for its traditional purpose.

The Montol Festival

The Montol Festival is a seasonal event unique to Cornwall. It’s a celebration of the Cornish midwinter traditions and customs held on the 21st of December. The Montol festival brings a host of events. It is celebrated with musicians, fire performers, obby osses, guise beasts, and Christmas carol singers.

Mousehole Lights

The West Cornwall fishing village welcomes thousands of revellers for spectacular Christmas lights. Hardworking volunteers have carefully prepared the renowned decorations. It is such a festive wrapping up warm, sipping wine, and perusing the wonderful mousehole lights displays in the harbour and the village.

Stargazy Pie

For Christmas dinner why not try this Cornish fish pie filled with pilchards that protrude from the crust. It tastes better than your ordinary pie, and it originates from Mousehole and is popularized by the children’s book, The Mousehole. During Tom Bawcock’s Eve on 23rd December, the dish is eaten, celebrating the hero who rescued the villagers from starvation. The entire catch was baked into a huge stargazy pie, with fish heads protruding through the top.

Sea Shanties

Dating back to the mid-1400s, the shanty is a working song created to make sure there was a rhythm going during labour and make the work more fun. Sea shanties have remained integral in fishing communities to this day, and today they are heard in fishing pubs around Christmas. They have evolved with time, and they are mostly accompanied by the rhythmic thudding of the feet and slaps on wooden beams.


Christmas Activities For All The Family In Cornwall

Christmas is one of the best festive seasons for many. It is at this time that families gather and do celebrations. Others do it indoors while some go for outdoor vacations like visiting the countryside or visiting popular places.

Going out for Christmas is twice as nice as having the celebration done at home. Cornwall has all the activities that your family could want. There are activities that are suitable for all age groups. Read on to hear about all of the Christmas activities for you and your family. 

1. Garden lighting

This is the activity that will help to reunite with the beautiful nature in Cornwall. At Trelissick is where you will get that privilege, plus the place will make you absorb that Christmas mood.

This event happens at nightfall; all the houses and surfaces lightened up with the rainbow colours.

2. Wood performance

When talking about enchanting Christmas amusement, then performing in the woods is the right way to go. Immediately after the sunset, put your coats on and follow the circuitous path in the woods.

In these woods, you will encounter miraculous actors. Their role is narrating the story, Winter Wood.

3. Boat rides

Boat riding is one of the events that no family can afford to miss out on at Cornwall. This activity has no age limit restrictions, so you don't have to worry about the kids.

The best part of this activity is that you not only enjoy the cool coastal breeze, but you also get an opportunity to see marine animals. Dolphins and seals are some of the marine animals you will encounter. The best location to carry out this event is at the Padstow harbour.

4. Engage in surfing activities

Surfing is one of the activities that will create a great memory impression on your family. The Cornish coastline is perfect for all surfing activities. You don't have to be a veteran to engage in these activities as there are various surf training schools around the coast.

Harlyn Surf Schools in Padstow is one of the dominant training institutions. You and your family can be trained on how to surf safely. At Padstow, you will get surfing boards that are available for hire.

5. Go for a walk or bicycle ride along the Camel Trail

At Cornwall, there is a trail that used to be a railway line situated at Padstow. This trail covers a distance of 28 kilometres. It passes through Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge, and finally Padstow.

You can decide to take your family for a walk or even do the bike riding activity at this trail. The good thing about this place is that it is free from congestion. The trail is perfect for any of the activities mentioned above. 

6. Engage in zip wire adventure

A Christmas vacation in Cornwall without paying a visit to the Eden project is not a complete holiday. Here you will have a lot of fun in a zip wire adventure that no family can afford to miss.

At this place, your family gets the chance to soar on the famously fast and long zip wire in England. This is an exciting activity for your family, but it has age limits. Unfortunately, this activity is not suitable for children under 8. 

7. Engaging in all foodies

Here you and your family can join the rest of the crew in wrapping up the Christmas holiday. Here you will encounter cooking illustrations, sing dozens of Christmas carols, and finally, get the chance to meet and mingle with Santa.

All types of creativity are brought out at this event. The event takes place at Padstow.