Just like many other places in Cornwall Zennor celebrates its feast in honour of the patron saint of the parish. The Feast of St Senara falls on the nearest Sunday (with double figures) to May 10th. Though not as well known as feasts in towns like St Just and St Ives it is remarkable that our small community continues to celebrate the saint who gave the parish its name.
In ‘Tremedda Days’ Alison Symons gives a detailed account of early twentieth century celebrations when it was Zennor’s most important church and social occasion of the year. People who had moved away from the parish would return to their relations for up to a week. Families reunited on the Sunday for the big feast dinners and attended special services in their best clothes in the brightly decorated church. Feast Monday was a holiday for all, including school children. Cricket matches against Towednack were played in a field at Trewey, and in the evening stalls with sweets and pastries were set up near the church, before the concert organised and performed by locals was held in the school- room.
Some of these traditions have continued to the present day with a visiting priest, or even a Bishop, at the church services and a few families still hold feast dinner for relations. The Monday concert still continues showcasing a great mixture of local talent. The cricket match has been replaced with the ‘East v West’ rounders match and there is usually clay pigeon shoot for the Parish Cup.
Other Feast Week events have included barn dances, mystery trips in a coach, car treasure hunts and quiz nights. Let’s hope Feast will be kept alive.