Feast Day always falls on the first Monday after February 3rd, the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St., Eia in 1434. Lelant Feast is on February 2nd and in earlier times it was the custom for st ives to play Lelant in the famous 'Hurling' of the silver ball, a kind of naturalistic rugby march, retained by other notable towns like St. Columb near Newquay.
st ives and Lelant Parish Churches were the respective goals sought by opposing teams but eventually the custom was revised when st ives town population outnumbered Lelant's. It then became a beach event played on the foreshore. Today, hurling the silver ball continues and although in less extended form, mainly contained within the town boundaries, it is still a robust and exciting event.
A tradition revived by the Old Cornwall Society is the Midsummer Eve Bonfire when a Lady of the Flowers casts herbs into a hilltop blaze and prayers are said in the Cornish Language. It recalls the old Celtic ceremony of the Belthane Fires that the early church Christianised but was moved from May to mid-summer.
Guise Dancing or 'Guising' is another ancient and colourful custom that has its roots deep in our Celtic past. It involves local young people dressing up in a number of disguises and running in good-natured riot. This tradition has also moved along the calendar with time and although most commonly associated with the Christmas period, 'Guisers' can often be seen in the Feast Day parade.
These days there are plenty of 'Guisers' to be seen in st ives on New Year's Eve when the town and an increasing number of visitors turn out in Fancy Dress to gather in the streets and on the harbour to welcome in the New Year.
Fair Mo is a less rowdy tradition, celebrated just before Christmas. This ancient 'pig fair' reflects the long-standing custom of keeping pigs in virtually every Downlong yard. Today local ladies dress in traditional costumes and hold their fair, or market, in the Guildhall.
Model Boat sailing on Consols Pool at the top of the Stennack on the outskirts of st ives each Good Friday is a great tradition which has been sustained through its close seafaring connections when seagoing folk launched miniature boats to sea before the onset of Summer as a placating gesture to the Gods of the Storm.