St Piran’s Day 3 / 3 / 2016

St Piran's day by Rod Allday

Spring is definitely in the air, March is here, and we are feeling… well, Cornish! On the 5th of March Cornwall celebrates St. Piran’s Day, our patron saint. Funnily enough our Cornish saint isn’t actual Cornish, but thought to be Irish.  St. Piran is the miner’s saint, namely because he was accredited with rediscovering how to extract tin (a process lost since the Romans) which is where the white cross on our flag is meant to have come from. When his black hearthstone, a slab of tin-bearing ore, had the tin smelt out of it the shape it rose into was a white cross.

He also was thought to be a bit of a hermit and miracle maker. There is a rather wonderful story that the unsaved Irish had tied him to a mill-stone, rolled it over the edge of a cliff and into a stormy sea but then it immediately became calm. The saint then floated safely to land upon the sandy beach of Perranzabuloe. Legend says his first disciples were a badger, a fox and a bear!

These days the festival shows some Cornish pride and is a good excuse to sample local ale and have a pasty or two. Cornwall is a magical place, thick with tales and legends just waiting for you to uncover on your Cornish holiday!

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Image depicting the Cornish Saint on Hal an Tow at Helston Flora Day By Rod Allday, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11577802

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