Ever heard the expression that wherever you find a mine in the world you will find a Cornishman at the bottom of it? Well, St Piran is to thank for that.
Originally from Ireland in the 4th Century, St Piran is said to have gained attention at the time for possessing, and practicing, special powers. Among these wonderful gifts was the ability to raise slain soldiers from the dead. However, instead of receiving thanks, St Piran’s powers were received with scepticism and fear, particularly by the King of Ireland, who viewed St Piran with great suspicion.
In a bid to get rid of him, St Piran was thrown into the sea tied to a millstone. Yet, in a remarkable twist, the tumultuous sea calmed and St Piran was floated all the way to Cornwall, landing upon the sandy beach of Perranzabuloe.
After settling in and acquiring quite the following, St Piran went on to rediscover tin smelting in Cornwall. Achieving worldwide recognition, Cornwall’s relationship with tin mining has been hugely important, and to this day remains a significant part of Cornish culture and identity.
Originating as one of the tin miner’s public holidays, St Piran’s Day is held on the 5th March every year. Events take place across the whole of Cornwall and ‘Perrantide’ activities are under way the entire week leading up to 5th March.
With the popularity of St Piran’s Day as strong as ever, there is plenty going on across the county. In fact, since the beginning of the 21st Century, almost every Cornish village and town hosts celebrations to mark the date.
If you’d like to get involved this year, parades and processions are held in Bodmin, Bude, Falmouth, Penzance, St Ives and Truro, and countless other communities come together in merriment. Perhaps the biggest celebration takes place in Redruth, where festivities include parades through the town, lots of live music and a huge gathering of people of all ages.
From all of us here, gool peran lowen!