Montol Festival, Penzance. Courtesy of Montol Festival
Before Christmas, the Cornish - like all pagan socieities - celebrated the Winter Solstice: the shortest day and the longest night. Since 2007 Penzance has renivented the past with a series of events culminating in the Montol Festival and parade on 21 December.
The Montol Festival balances the Golowan Festival held at the Midsummer Solstice. Starting with a farmers' market at St John's Hall and various activities through the day, including a tea dance, at 5.45pm the Lord of Misrule is appointed and lanterns are lit on the steps of the Hall.
There follows the Rivers of Fire lantern procession around Penzance, ending up at Lescudjak Hill Fort for the lighting of the beacon at 6.30pm, before a return to St John's Hall for a shindig.
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