Cornish Christmas


Nadelik Lowen!  That’s Happy Christmas in Cornish!  And they have some mighty fine traditions too …


Like many Cornish traditions, the Cornish Bush has its roots in Pagan celebrations for the winter solstice. Its meanings and symbolisms have been adapted to Christian traditions, and this three-dimensional wreath now represents new life. It is made by weaving holly, mistletoe and ivy around a circle of withy. The beautiful ringlet that is traditionally hung indoors on December the 20th. It’s topped with an apple, and a candle is placed in the middle of the circle. Dancing in rings underneath the Cornish Bush whilst the candle is lit welcomes in the God of Light.


Christmas lost a lot of traditions when Cromwell and his parliament abolished it in 1647. Thankfully we got it back (imagine no Yule Log, trifle, or big tins of chocolates to look forward to once a year!), although thanks to Methodism and the repressed Victorians, a lot of the flair and magic was sapped from the event.

Luckily the Cornish love a sing-song, and in 1822 Davies Gilbert published a book entitled Some Ancient Christmas Carols. A decade later, William Sandys published Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern. The carols were practiced across Cornwall, with carollers meeting in school rooms and chapels throughout the county (sometimes walking for miles to be there). They sang carols both old and new, and slowly their enthusiasm spread throughout the county.

and this one is craaaaazy…



Whilst many of us are sitting cosily in our front rooms opening presents and eating chocolates, many Cornish seaside communities will gather for a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean!

Quite often hundreds of people will gather together and dive into the freezing waters of the sea, with only a swimming costume or fancy dress outfit, to protect them from the elements. No wetsuits allowed! Often it’s for charity, although sometimes it’s just because people need a chilly shock to refresh them for the day’s festivities.

Check out our January promotion and come and join the fun!!