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With pasties, pies and Poldark all coming from Cornwall, this is an area of England that is certainly worth celebrating! And one other important word starting with the letter “p” is also a vital part of Cornish culture – St. Piran!

History of St. Piran’s Day

Also called the Feast of Saint Piran, this day acts as the official national day of Cornwall, which is located in the very southwest portion of Great Britain. Held in early March, this day is named after St. Piran, who is considered to be one of the patron saints of Cornwall and particularly of those who were miners of tin.

St. Piran’s Day can be traced back to at least the 18th century, though it may have taken place prior to that. While the event died out for a while, its modern interpretation was re-introduced by the people of Cornwall in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was at this point in time that Celtic revivalists wanted to provide the people of Cornwall with their own day of celebration and honor.

By the early 2000s, most communities in Cornwall had begun holding various events, activities, parades, parties and celebrations in honor of St. Piran’s Day. Locals and visitors can join in on the fun with children’s dances, live music events, poetry, processions, speeches and so much more, where the black and white flags of St. Piran can often be seen waving in honor of the day.

How to Celebrate St. Piran’s Day

Get involved and have some fun with music, festivities and more by celebrating St. Piran’s Day. Whether celebrating in Cornwall or further afield, this day can be a joyous occasion with some of these ideas to get started with:

Visit Cornwall

A visit to Cornwall in celebration of St. Piran’s Day is a perfect way to show some love and appreciation for this special time of year. Overlapping with the changing of the seasons and the warming of the weather, St. Piran’s Day offers a beautiful opportunity to visit the rugged countryside and magnificent seascapes located here. From Penzance to Padstow, from St. Ives to Truro, there are dozens of incredible towns and locations for sightseeing, beach-crawling, fishing and so much more.

Learn More About St. Piran 

Get connected with the history behind St. Piran’s Day by learning and sharing some interesting facts about the saint and the day. Check out some of these to get started with:

  • St. Piran was a bishop from Ireland whose name can also be spelled Pyran.

  • The story goes that the Irish tied Piran to a millstone and tossed him into the sea, but he calmly floated back inland and lived to tell about it.

  • Piran is said to have had the gift of miracles.

  • St. Piran is believed to have discovered tin in Cornwall when a black stone on his fire leaked a white liquid in the shape of a cross. This is where the icon of the flag came from.

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