In contrast to the "white" celebrations of Obby Oss, the Cornish would guise dance and disguise themselves by blackening up their faces or wearing masks.
Maybe because Mummers day is also know as Darkie day, some "outsiders" have suggested the celebrations are racist.
Something strongly denied by the locals.
The blacking of faces, wearing masks and singling minstral songs is incorrectly linked to slaves, coal boats or black people.
Some have wrongly speculated that the event originated from freedoms being given to the occupants of passing slave ships which stopped in the port to allow slaves a bit of free time and space in the town.
Today's celebrations raises money for charity.
The term Mummers is a reference to seasonal folk plays performed by mummers or guisers.
The Padstow mummers visit each of the local pubs and play traditional songs.
Some faces are blacked, but the hats are trimmed with colourful tinsel.
The procession moves along the harbour walls to the next hostalry.
An entry in Wikipedia suggests that throughout the 19th century, especially in the east of Cornwall Darkie Parties were common Christmas celebrations held in Cornish homes and public houses. People would have performed traditional Cornish and other seasonal music and seasonal folk drama such as Mummers plays.