Helston, gateway to the Lizard, has long been a market and coinage town serving the mining districts to the west and north. But no mining affected the peninsula, so that it was never changed by engine houses or rows of miners' cottages. It was a superstitious land of contrasts, often called the Gemini peninsula, where smuggling was rife. The Cornish language was spoken until well in the 17th century and old Celtic beliefs and customs still survive. The most famous is Helston's Furry Dance, with its roots in the pagan festival to welcome the Celtic summer.