THE MADRON MIDSUMMER EVE BONFIRE 2024 TAKES PLACE AT BULLS VIEW NEAR PENZANCE FROM 8.30PM ON SUNDAY 23 JUNE 2024. THIS TRADITIONAL CORNISH EVENT CELEBRATES THE FEAST OF ST JOHN AND ALL ARE INVITED…
Cornwall is steeped in history and tradition. And it’s proud of it. This is why the many Old Cornwall Societies across the Duchy mark Midsummer Eve. Put simply, this is one of Cornwall’s greatest traditions and it deserves to be locally celebrated with a big beautiful bonfire and much rejoicing.
The Madron Old Cornwall Society always marks the big event every year on the Eve of the Feast of St John, which in 2024 falls on Sunday 23 June. Indeed, its Midsummer Eve Bonfire 2024 is expected to be on Sunday 23 June 2024 but this is not yet confirmed, as are the details, so watch this space for confirmation. Do expect to meet at Bulls View in Madron, near Penzance, however, from 8.30pm to join in the traditional festivities if it goes ahead. Bulls View is on the road that leaves Madron towards Lanyon Quoit.
If you’re in a car, you drive about a mile out of Madron village until the road forks left and park there before walking a little way up the right fork to Bulls View. See our map below for the precise location and we have been told it will be signposted when you leave Madron on the road to Morvah.
This traditional celebration that marks the eve before the feast of St John is held throughout Cornwall by the Old Cornwall Societies. Some call it St John’s Eve, in fact. Traditionally, bonfires are lit in fields and on hilltops for the event, including the famous one at Chapel Carn Brea near Penzance and the easternmost one on Kit Hill near Callington. The Midsummer Eve bonfires date right back to the ancient days of Pagan rituals.
As the name suggests, St John’s Eve is the night before St John the Baptist Day. These midsummer blazes traditionally celebrate the Feast of St John that’s tied in with the big day. And they are tied in with the annual Golowan Festival 2023 festivities. Click here to find out more about that. (Incidentally, ‘Golowan’ means ‘midsummer’ or ‘feast of John’ in Cornish).
The Madron Midsummer Eve Bonfire 2024, if it goes ahead, is hosted courtesy of Maddy and Adrian Nicholls from nearby Boswarthen Farm. Expect ceremonies in both Cornish and English with midsummer herbs and flowers being thrown on to the flames throughout. Although the public is expected to be invited to meet at 8.30pm, it may be more like 9.15pm when the fire is lit as the sun goes down on one of the longest days of the year. There is traditionally a ‘Lady of Flowers’ at the ceremony who will set the bonfire ablaze.
Another Midsummer Eve bonfire also takes place on Sunday 23 June 2024 over in St Ives. Read all about it: here. Whichever bonfire ceremony you choose to go to, make sure you have fun and appreciate the history and tradition this Midsummer Eve.