The Golowan Festival & Mazey Day 2009



mazy day 2007 2008 2009 penzance festival quay dayThe Golowan festival (Cornish for midsummer) is the festival of St. John and is held in Penzance each year in late June. Although it is an old tradition, it was revived by a group of artists and local schools in 1991 in order to remember the local area heritage. The festival is ten days long, culminating in the Mazey weekend and notably Mazey Day on the Saturday.


A Brief History

Golowan was one of the last mid summer festivals practiced in Cornwall. In the 1890’s, the Penzance government outlawed the festival due to the rising insurance premiums for the towns business community. Traditionally the towns streets were lined with alight tar barrels which were paraded around. The surrounding hills had bonfires set at the top, throwing dancing shadows all around mounts bay and beyond.

The modern Golowan is arguable a little less dangerous. The celebration of the area arts and culture attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the area from local towns and as far as the Asian continent and further. The core of the celebrations is Mazey day, when the streets are filled with market stalls and entertainers, and the towns school children parade up and down market jew street starting at st. johns hall holding aloft large paper mache and wicker creations. It truly is a sight to behold, with some figures being larger than the building around them. The weekend begins with mazey eve and ends with the quay fair.

Golowan Festival main days for 2009

The festival this year is between 22 June to 28 June.

  • Mazey Eve - Friday 26th June 2009
    Penglaz, the Penzance obby oss is set loose around the quay area, leading a procession of dancers and musicians. There is a fair held next to jubilee pool and there is many music events in the surrounding area, including a large music tent at the quay.
  • Mazey Day - Saturday 27th June 2009
    Mazey Day centres around the parades and other street events in the centre of town.
  • Quay Day - Sunday 28th June 2009
    Stalls and musical events are held on the quay front. This day has a much more laid back feel to it, and is an ideal day to be part of the celebrations.


The Golowan Festival & Mazey Day image gallery


For Further information, please visit the Golowan Website -
penzance's mazey day & golowan festival