It’s Saint Piran’s Day in Cornwall today

Saint Piran (Saint Piran – Sen piran – Perran) is the patron saint of Cornish tin miners, widely regarded as the national Saint of Cornwall and to top ot all, it’s Saint Piran’s feast day today – 5th March.

Saint Piran is thought to be from Ireland and (according to legend) was tied to a huge mill-stone and thrown into a stormy sea by Irish peasants.

The sea became calm and Saint Piran was carried by the tide across the sea to land at Perranzabuloe in Cornwall!

Here Saint Piran built a small oratory and was later joined by his followers and Christian converts.

Nobody really knows who Saint Piran was, where he lived or what he did but as with many myths and legends in Cornwall there is probably fact amongst the fiction.

I think this is the enduring legacy of Saint Piran and what keeps the idea of him so close to the Cornish people’s hearts.
Saint Piran’s Flag

The Saint Piran flag is a white cross on a black background and has been widely adopted as the flag of Cornwall.

It is supposed to have been adopted by Saint Piran after he saw molten tin form a white cross on the black hearth stone he was using in his fire place – a slab of tin-bearing ore.

This ‘re-discovery’ of tin smelting by Saint Piran lead him to be adopted as the patron Saint of Cornish tin miners even though tin had been in use a few centuries earlier.
Saint Piran’s Day

St Piran’s Day is extremely popular in Cornwall with the term ‘Perrantide’ being used to describe the week prior to the 5th March.

Many different events are held throughout Cornwall on the 5th including the walk of hundreds and even thousands of people across the sand dunes to Saint Piran’s Cross.

Dressed in black and gold, they carry daffodils to lay on the cross and in recent years enact a play about the life of Saint Piran in Cornish.
The Saints of Cornwall

Although Saint Piran is seen as the Patron Saint of Cornwall, there are other Saints such as Saint Michael and Saint Petroc who might have claim to this title.

Below is a list of other Cornish Saints.

  1. Saint Michael
  2. Saint Piran
  3. Saint Petroc
  4. Saint Pinnock
  5. Saint Germanus
  6. Saint Julian
  7. Saint Cyriacus
  8. Saint Constantin
  9. Saint Nonna
  10. Saint Geraint

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About iLoveLooe

Cornwall was always one of our dream places to live, so we upped sticks in 2007 and moved to Looe. I now run and various social media locations for Looe on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Say 'Hi' sometime.