Falun Gong practioners from all over Britain were in the west Cornish town of Penzance this Saturday to participate in Mazey Day, the central event of the ancient Golowan festival.
Practitioners performed a lion dance and Chinese waist-drumming, alongside schools from Penzance and the surrounding areas.
Golowan is the Cornish word for the tradition of Midsummer celebration. The ancient festival involved the lighting of bonfires, the carry of burning torches and the performance of rituals. The festival was banned in the 1890s by Penzance Borough Council on the grounds of increased insurance premiums in the town and the perceived fire risk.
The festival were revived in 1990 by a small group of local artists, historians, schools, as well as Penzance Town Council, aiming to restore the ancient Cornish culture and traditions. The organisers were able to empathise with Falun Gong practitioners efforts to revive ancient Chinese culture.
Penzance is the ‘capital’ of west Cornwall and lies in the picturesque and sheltered Mounts Bay. The name Penzance or ‘Pensans’ in the Cornish language means ‘holy headland’, a reference to St Anthony’s chapel which stood on St Michael’s mount more that a thousand years ago.
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