Happy St Piran’s Day!
According to legend, St Piran was born in Ireland in the 6th century and he was some bleedy boy! He was renowned for his miraculous deeds but a group of tribal kings grew afraid of his powers and jealous of his influence. They put a millstone around the poor guys neck and threw him off the top of a high cliff into the sea. As Piran fell, lightening and thunder raged, but as he reached the sea the storm ceased and the Irish watched St Piran float on the millstone towards the Cornish shore.
After many days at sea, he safely landed on the beach that bears his name today – Perranporth. Lucky guy if you ask us! He built his chapel in what is today a large expanse of sand dunes and it is said that his first converts were a fox, a badger and a boar. The Cornish people flocked to see him as news of his teaching spread.
Piran is the patron saint of tinners and one tale explains how he discovered tin – although in truth, tinning had been carried out in Cornwall for centuries before hand.
St Piran also liked a drink and the local expression ‘as drunk as a Perraner’ has survived down the ages. I bet he would have liked a nice Cornish Pasty too. It is also reputed that he lived to the grand old age of 206. Well, on a diet of drink and pasties it’s no wonder!
St Piran’s flag is acknowledged as the national banner of Cornwall, with the white cross on a black background said to signify the white tin coming out of the black ore and the light of truth shining in the darkness, a reference to the early Celtic Christianity Piran brought to Cornwall.
Each year a large number of events, which focus on Cornwall’s distinct culture and identity, are held to celebrate St Piran’s Day. The annual World Pasty Championships will be taking place at the Eden Project this St Piran’s Day. With comedy from the Kernow King and music from the Fisherman’s Friends, Seth Lakeman and Hedluv and Passman. It’s sure to be a Cornish fun filled day!
We’ll let the Kernow King tell you a bit more about it! Wish us luck and hopefully see you there. Right on.