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You are in: Cornwall > Features > About Cornwall > St Piran's Day

A St Piran's Day march

St Piran's Day

On Wednesday 5 March 2008 Cornish people all over the world will be celebrating St Piran's day. According to legend, St Piran landed on the sands at Perranporth after being cast into the sea by the Irish tied to a millstone. Find out more.

As people with Cornish links all over the world celebrate the life of St Piran, we offer you the chance to enjoy some work by best selling author, Michael Morpurgo.

He uses Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for much of his inspiration. In a BBC Cornwall first, he agreed to read one of his short stories, exclusively for us. Click on the links below to hear his story, Half A Man, in three parts:

According to legend St Piran was born in Ireland in the sixth century. He was renowned for his miraculous deeds but a group of kings grew afraid of his powers. They put a millstone round his neck and threw him from a cliff into the sea. As he fell thunder and lightening raged around him but, as he reached the sea level, the tempest calmed and he floated on the stone towards the Cornish shore.

St Piran's Day march

After days at sea he landed on the beach that bears his name Perranporth...the cove or harbour of St Piran...on the north coast. He built a chapel in the sand dunes and the Cornish people flocked to see him as news of his teachings spread. (Nowadays people come from all over the world to trace the history of this oratory and the so called 'lost church').

One day he noticed a stream of silver white metal flowing from the black stone of his hearth. He went on to teach the local people how to extract the mineral - tin - from the rock. The resulting celebrations lasted many days and gave rise to the expression 'drunk as a Perraner'. Over the years the reputation of 'Saint' Piran grew and now his image and flag are recognised all over the world.

Each year, St Piran's story is retold in a drama on the dunes near Perranporth's 'lost' church on the Sunday nearest to 5 March. These community projects - based in the parish of Perranzabuloe - have become increasingly popular over the years with the performances attracting 'one and all' from all over the world.

There are several events that happen each year to celebrate St Piran. Here are some of the events still to come...

St Piran's Day Marches

These are taking place in Bodmin on Wednesday 5 March at 10.30am, 2.30pm and 6.30pm involving local children.

St Piran's Day Play

This happens on Sunday 9 March. Take part in the annual pilgrimage to St Piran's Oratory and the Celtic Cross and follow the play as it's being performed. Meet at Perran Sands Holiday Park. The play starts at 2pm.

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last updated: 05/03/2008 at 14:57
created: 06/02/2008

You are in: Cornwall > Features > About Cornwall > St Piran's Day

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