St Ives Feast Day & Hurling the Silver Ball
The St Ives Feast is an ancient tradition celebrating the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Ia in 1434, and offers a rare chance to watch the game of Hurling the Silver Ball, a centuries-old form of rugby.
The feast day begins with the Mayor’s civic procession - musicians, school children and the Mayor of St Ives process from the Guildhall to St Ia’s Well at Porthmeor for a short ceremony.
At 10:30 am, the Mayor throws the silver ball into the crowd below, beginning the boisterous hurling of the silver ball. Participants attempt to win the ball off each other around the town, with whoever returns the ball to the Mayor on the steps of St Ives Guildhall at midday receiving a silver coin. In the afternoon, pennies are offered from the balcony by town councillors to the waiting children on the Guildhall forecourt.
Taking place in one of Cornwall’s most popular seaside towns, watching the hurling is an intriguing insight into one of Cornwall’s most ancient traditions. Take a ringside seat near the beach and cheer for your favourite participant, some of whom dive into the chilly sea to escape with the ball.