The 5th March is St Piran’s Day, the national day of Cornwall. The day gets it’s name from one of our patron saints, Saint Piran, who is also the patron saint of tin miners.
14 Weird and Wonderful Piran-tastic Facts
- Piran is by far the most famous of all the saints to have come to Cornwall from Ireland
- Piran can also be spelt Pyran
- St Piran’s Day is Gool Peran in the Cornish language
- The heathen Irish tied him to a mill-stone and tossed him out to a stormy sea, but luckily the sea immediately became calm and Piran floated across and landed safely at Perranzabuloe in Cornwall.
- His first disciples were a badger, a fox, and a bear
- He became a hermit, and won veneration from his sanctity and austerity.
- He had the gift of miracles
- St Piran’s Day is popular in Cornwall and the term ‘Perrantide’ has been coined to describe the week prior to this day.
- He ‘rediscovered’ tin-smelting (tin had been smelted in Cornwall since before the Romans’ arrival, but the methods had since been lost)
- Upon smelting his black hearthstone, the tin formed a white cross – an images used for the Cornish Flag
- Have you heard of the phrase ‘drunk as a perraner?’ It is thought to come from the fact that people who celebrate St Piran’s Day do so with plenty of alcohol. We don’t know for sure, but we think St Piran himself would have liked this.
- Perrantide is the week leading up to St Piran’s Day
- It’s common to celebrate with song such as the Trelawny Shout, which is often referred to as the unoffical anthem of Cornwall
- St Piran’s Day was observed until the late 1700s, but then fell out of favour for a while. Happily, it became popular again back in the 1950s
St Piran Song
“He is remembered on this special day
He found his way to us through Perran Bay
Storms and tempest did not stop this man
Sailed to Cornwall which is our homeland
We can still remember what he did for us
Sailed from Ireland and in God he’d trust
His name was Piran and on mill stone round
Sailed to Cornwall which is our homeland”
In 2020 Will from Coombe Farm Cottages took part in the Launceston Children’s St Piran’s Day Parade.