St Piran’s Day

St Piran’s Day (Cornish: Gool Peran) is the national day of Cornwall, held on 5 March every year. The day is named after one of the patron saints of Cornwall, Saint Piran, who is also the patron saint of tin miners.

St Piran was a priest in the west of Ireland. He fell out with the king and was chucked off a cliff with a millstone tied around his neck. He managed to navigate a lump of granite with a hole in it across the Celtic sea and landed in Perranporth. Piran met a bunch of blokes with a fire and a load of black rocks all around. They lit the fire and they welcomed him. As the fire got hotter the black stones got hotter and a white liquid started to pour out of it. St Piran noticed and as a result gave us smelting which allowed us to smelt tin. This is where the white cross on the black rock comes from.

He travelled around Cornwall – he was one of a huge community of saints. He spoke to animals, enjoyed a drink, had a very deep ethical code and wasn’t afraid to stand up to authority (like all Cornish folk). Legend has it he lived till he was 200!

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