Every year on the 5th of March, Cornwall comes together to celebrate the patron saint of miners, St Piran. Washed ashore at Perranporth in the 6th century - he had been banished from Ireland by the King (who was suspicious of Pirans’ powers) and cast out to sea tied to a millstone. St Piran became known as the Patron Saint of Tinners after accidentally discovering the metal, which then became the backbone of the Cornish industry.
The Cornish community marks the occasion with different events throughout the county, ranging from processions and parades to music and dancing, feasts, fetes and fairs – there’s even a pasty throwing competition!
Take a look at our favourite things to do this St Piran’s Day:
First held in 2011, the Redruth Festival is now a staple part of the St Piran’s Day festivities and celebrates the towns’ importance in the tin industry. The procession starts at 12pm from Fore Street and ends with choirs singing ‘Trelawney’ by the town clock. The celebrations include a range of entertainment including live music, a town trail (great fun for children) and a craft fair.
Each year the St Piran’s Day play, produced by the St Piran Trust, takes place in Perranporth. Hundreds of people cross the dunes to St Piran’s Cross, dressed in the colours of Cornwall (black, white and gold) and carrying the Cornish flag. Actors then relay Piran’s life in three parts – from his birth in Ireland to his arrival in Cornwall and his miraculous discovery of tin in Kernow.
Visit the Eden Project this Saturday as the annual World-Pasty Championships return to the iconic biomes. There’s an action packed itinerary, including comedy from Kernow King, music from Seth Lakeman and of course, pasty-making workshops for the whole family to enjoy.
Building on last year’s success, the Trelawney Shout will take place on Saturday in a hundred pubs across the county, as over a thousand voices come together to proudly sing the Cornish anthem, Trelawney. All money raised goes to charity, to find out which pubs are involved throughout the county click here.
Celebrate St Piran’s Day in the seaside town of Newquay. Celebrations start at 11am with Newquay Town Council’s Spring Festival, which includes a range of entertainment from heritage rides to performances from the Newquay Male Voice Choir and school choral groups. The main parade starts from the Beach Road area at 2.30pm, lead by the Newquay Town Band.
An impressive photographic collection will be on display at the Cornwall Council Archive and Cornish Studies Service in Redruth this St Piran’s Day. A range of free activities inspired by the collection will be on offer, including having your own Victorian style portrait taken.