FEATURE ON ST IVES FEAST DAY CELEBRATIONS

6th February 2017

 

FOR THOSE OF YOU WONDERING WHY THE SCHOOL USES ONE OF ITS INSET DAYS TO CELEBRATE ST IVES FEAST...

HERE ARE A FEW FACTS & PHOTOS!

 

The St Ives Feast is an ancient tradition that celebrates the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 and offers a rare chance to watch the game of Hurling the Silver Ball, a centuries’ old form of rugby.

Feast Day falls on the first Monday after February 3rd, upon which day the local schools close to enable the children of the town to enjoy the celebrations. The day begins with the Mayor’s civic procession for the blessing at St Ia Well near Porthmeor Beach, followed by the start of the boisterous hurling of the 'silver' ball at 10.30am when participants attempt to win a replica off each other around the town. Whoever returns the ball to the Mayor on the steps of St Ives Guildhall on the stroke of midday receives a silver coin. In the afternoon, pennies are proffered from the balcony by Town Councillors to the waiting children on the Guildhall forecourt

Hurling the Silver Ball is one of Cornwall's oldest customs dating back at least a thousand years. Of unknown origin, the game involves much physical rough and tumble as each side (traditionally the 'countrymen' and 'townsmen' of a particular Parish) tries to keep possession of a cricket ball-sized ball made of apple wood coated in silver. These days, Cornish Hurling has all but disappeared, although it is still played once a year in St Ives and St Columb Major, near Newquay.

Each year, during the lead up to Feast Day, our Y2 children visit the Mayoral Chambers at The Guildhall and are greeted by the current Mayor who tells them all about the history of the event and shows them the town's regalia before they return to school to write about what they have learned.