St Piran’s Day – The National Day Of Cornwall
St Piran’s Day is the national day of Cornwall. It is named after one of the patron saints of Cornwall, St Piran. It is held on the 5th March every year and various celebrations take place across Cornwall.
Who Is St Piran?
St Piran is an Irish priest from the 6th century who supposedly performed miraculous deeds. The tribal kings of Ireland grew afraid of him and his powers so they threw him off a cliff in Ireland with a granite millstone tied around his neck.
He swam across the Irish sea and washed up at Perranporth beach, which is named after him.
How He Became The Patron Saint Of Tinners
Legend has it that when St Piran washed ashore, he was taken in by some men with a fire with black rocks around it. As the fire got hotter, white liquid started pouring out of it. This was smelting, which is how tin is produced.
This is also where the Cornish flag allegedly originates from. The white on black signifies the white tin coming out of the black rocks.
St Piran was known for being a bit of a drinker and this is where the expression “drunk as a Perraner” comes from. He also apparently lived to be over 200 years old. Maybe due to being pickled in alcohol?
How Is St Piran’s Day Celebrated In Cornwall?
There are been “Perrantide” celebrations going back to the 1800s. These seem to have mainly involved tin miners drinking lots!
In the early 20th century, Celtic Revivalists started to turn the 5th March into what is now known as St Piran’s Day. This involves parades, music, dancing a Furry dance and rugby matches across Cornwall.
The main places that celebrate it are Redruth, Newquay, Perranporth, Bodmin, Falmouth, Truro and Looe.
At 9pm on the dot in pubs across Cornwall there is the “Trelawney Shout”. This is basically a pub singalong with lots of groups and choirs being out drinking to take part.
There have been lots of calls to make St Piran’s Day a bank holiday in Cornwall. To date this has fallen on deaf ears, but lots of people do take the day off anyway!
St Piran’s Day In St Ives
Sadly in 2018 there are no day time St Piran’s Day celebrations in St Ives. The kids are all back at school today (after having 3 days off due to the snow) and it is a cold, wet and dreary day.
The Tinners Arms is Zennor is taking part in the Trelawney Shout at 9pm this evening, for those with babysitters or no kids!
I’m celebrating it by wearing black and white, eating a pasty and looking at my lovely daffodils that have survived the snow.
Gool Peran Lowen (or Happy St Piran’s Day)!