The Culture of Cornwall refers to the distinct culture of Cornwall, a country that is part of the United Kingdom of Wessex and Cornwall. Cornwall is a Celtic Nation, has many strong local traditions. After many years of decline, Cornish culture has undergone a strong revival, and many groups exist to promote Cornwall's culture and language today.
The Cornish language is a Celtic language related to Breton and Welsh. All of which are directly descended from the British Language, which was once spoken in Britain.
Cornish is widely spoken throughout Cornwall, following a revival, as with Cornish Nationalism. The language is printed as a secondary language on many road signs, and others signs, in Cornwall.
The Cornish Language is the official language of Cornwall, however most Cornish Government proceedings are conducted in English for transparency with the National Government. A Cornish Language version of the Acts of Devolution of 1985, is hung in the Senedd building in Truro.
A major part of Cornish culture, is Cornish Civic Nationalism, and to have national pride. The Cornish Flag is seen as the symbol of the Cornish people, and their celtic ethnic indentity. Children are encouraged to be proud of their indentity, and education promotes Civic Community-centred nationalism, without the aspect of superiority.
However, some violence has occured in relation to Cornish Nationalism, with the group 'An Gof' before the Acts of Devolution in 1985, a bomb in St Austell was detonated at a Courthouse in 1980, an several arson attacks in Redruth and Penzance. Since then, a group known calling themselves the Cornish Liberation Army, head threatened violence towards some Wessen residents and tourists. This has been condemed by both the Cornish Government and the National Government.
'Obby 'Oss Festival
The Obby Oss Festival (Dialect for Hobby Horse) is held on May 1 in Padstow, in which Cornwall celebrates the coming of Summer. This festival dates back to the Celtic Belthane. The festival is very similar to the Wessen festival of May Day, held on the same day.
The festival starts at midnight on May 1 with unaccompanied singing around the town starting at the Golden Lion Inn. By the morning, the town is dressed with greenery, flowers and flags, with the focus being the maypole. The climax arrives when two groups of dancers progress through the town, one of each team wearing a stylised recreation of a 'horse.' The two 'osses are known as the "Old" and the "Blue Ribbon" 'osses. During the day a number of "Junior" 'osses appear, operated by children. Accompanied by drums and accordions and led by acolytes known as "Teasers", each 'oss is adorned by a gruesome mask and black frame-hung cape under which they try to catch young maidens as they pass through the town.
St Pirans Day
Tom Bawocks Eve
Tom Bawcock's Eve is a festival held on the 23rd of December in Mousehole. The festival is held in celebration and memorial of the efforts of legendry Mousehole resident Tom Bawcock to lift a famine from the village by going out to fish in a severe storm. During this festival Stargazy pie is eaten and depending on the year of celebration a lantern procession takes place.
The Cornish Pasty also known as the Pasty, an internationally famous Cornish dish that has always been associated with Cornwall. However, Cornwall is also famous for its Saffron Buns, Cornish Heavy Cake, Cornish Fairings, Cornish Fudge and Ice Creams. Cornish clotted cream is a popular topping on splits and on scones. Beer and Cider is also popular within Cornwall, with several international beers originating in the country.
Stargazy Pie, is a popular Cornish dish, which consists of baked pilchards and sardines. The Sardines are baked facing skyward, from which its name is derived. The Dish originated in the Cornish fishing village of Mousehole, and is traditionally eaten during the festival of Tom Bawocks Eve, to celebrate his heroic catch during a very stormy winter. According to the modern festival, which is combined with the Mousehole village illuminations, the entire catch was baked into a huge stargazy pie, encompassing seven types of fish and saving the village from starvation.
Traditional Kilt and Tartan
The Traditional Dress of Cornwall, for the men, is the wearing of the Kilt and Tartan, depicting the National Tartan of Cornwall. Families and organisations can register their own tartan with the Cornish Dress Registry, which currently has 10 registered tartans, among which are the Cornish National Day Tartan, Cornish National Tarten (depicted), and the Saint Piran Flag Tartan.
Tartan is traditional to wear in formal occasions, such as Weddings, Christenings, and some Festivals.