The Golowan festival is held in Penzance during Late June each year. Golowan means Cornish for midsummer and celebrates the festival of St John. Golowan is an old tradition but was not practised regularly in the town until 1991 when a group of artists and local schools revived the celebration. The festival last for ten days and culminates in the Mazey weekend and especially Mazey Day, this year on Saturday 24th June 2017. See www.golowanfestival.org/whats-on-2017/
Golowan was one of the last mid-summer festivals practised in Cornwall and lasted until the mid-1890’s when the festival was outlawed due to rising insurance premiums with the town’s streets lined with lit tar barrels and surrounding hills with had bonfires set at the top. The Golowan festival today is more of a celebration of the arts and culture attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the area.
Mazey Day is the highlight of the festival when the streets are filled with market stalls, entertainers and the local schools parade along Market Jew Street starting at St. Johns hall. The procession is marked with large papier-mache and wicker floats and is a sight to behold.
On Mazey Eve, Penglaz is the Penzance equivalent of Padstow’s Obby Oss gets going around the quay area, leading a procession of dancers and musicians. A fair is held next to Jubilee Pool with a range of music events in the surrounding area including a large music tent near the quay.