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St Piran’s Day: the legend of the Tin Man and Cornish events

Every year the people of Cornwall come together to celebrate St Piran’s Day, so here at Brend Hotels we’ve taken a look at the origins of the saint, along with the events taking place to celebrate the occasion.

It is said that St Piran was an Irish bishop. The story goes that the Kings of Ireland were not impressed with his miracles, such as bringing soldiers back from the dead, and his raucous lifestyle. 

So a millstone was tied around his neck and then he was cast away into the sea.

Apparently he was washed up at Perranporth so he made Cornwall his home instead, where he built St Piran Church and Oratory.

By then discovering Tin, he is credited with shaping the future of the county. 


The Tin Man

To thank the Cornish people for their open arms and hospitality, St Piran taught them how to mine tin.

His discovery of tin was an accident; it is said that a black stone on his fire leaked a white liquid...tin (realistically, tinning had been carried out for centuries beforehand).

The Cornish flag is a reminder of his story, depicting the white on black, and St Piran is referred to as the Tin Man and the Patron Saint of Cornwall. 

He is said to have lived to over 200 years old, and many people came to join his preaching, and references to him are still found throughout the county.

Celebrate St Piran’s Day with local events

Legitimate or legend, Perranporth locals celebrate his arrival every year with a procession of black and white flags along with a St Piran’s play.

The celebrations aren’t exclusive to Perranporth though, there are many events all over Cornwall and the rest of the world, reaching as far as the U.S and Australia!

You too can get involved with the St Piran’s Day celebrations with these events are taking place in March 2019:

Perranporth, St Piran's Procession and Play - 3rd March 2019

Held on the nearest Sunday to St Piran's Day, the play attracts hundreds of people, who carry the Cornish flag whilst generally dressing in the colours of Cornwall; black, white and gold.

Anyone can take part in this celebration by joining the spectators who walk over the dunes and watch the play acted out in three parts. 

Dozens of actors and musicians portray the stages of St Piran’s life from his birth in Ireland, being washed up on the shores on Perranporth in 5 AD, his miraculous discovery of tin and his Christian ministry in Kernow. It starts at 1.30pm.

Keep an eye out for St Piran himself leading the way.

Falmouth, St Piran's Day Parade - 5th March 2019

Starting from The Moor at 10am there will be parading and dancing to the local pier and back. The morning ends with storytelling in the Methodist Church.

Everyone is welcome to join the parade or line the streets and encourage the local children on their way.

Bodmin, St Piran's Day Parade - 5th March 2019

Between 11am and 12pm a parade will travel to the Mount Folly where invited dignitaries will address the gathered crowd, which will be followed by children singing and dancing. Then at St Petroc’s Church they will present their contributions and celebrate by eating Cornish Pasties!

Newquay, St Piran's Weekend - 3rd-5th March 2019

They hold a whole weekend of events, including a surf festival and BBQ, all leading up to a grand parade at 4pm on Monday 5th. Following the parade there will be a ceilidh at 7pm at the rowing club. There is a list of activities taking place over the weekend, the Visit Newquay website has all the details.

Truro, St Piran's Day March - 5th March 2019

A march will leave St George's Road at 1pm and process through the city to High Cross. 

Free pasties will be available at the conclusion of speeches, and everyone is welcome to come and get involved with the procession. Following this there will be a music session held in the White Hart pub. You’re all invited to drink, dance, sing, and play instruments.

Looe, St Piran's Day Celebrations - 5th March 2019

Taking place in the New Guildhall, starting at 10.30am, there will be dancing and traditional Cornish music alongside entertainment from local schools and saffron cake!

Redruth, St Piran's Festival - 2nd March 2019

A traditional festival in the heart of town! Expect street entertainments, a Cornish market, classic cars, and a parade at midday. There will be lots to see and do for all the family.

World Pasty Championships, The Eden Project - 2nd March 2019

Not really a true St Piran’s event but is there a better way to get the Cornish celebrations going than with a pasty championship at the iconic Cornwall landmark?

Climaxing at the end of Cornish Pasty Week, pasty makers from around the world will be trying to win one of the pasty-shaped trophies crafted from clay. 

Plus there will be live entertainment along with The Eden Project's usual attractions, perfect for a fun family day out as well as pasty lovers!


Brend Hotel Accommodation in Cornwall

We have two hotels in Cornwall; Carlyon Bay on the clifftops near St Austell and the Royal Duchy on the seafront in Falmouth.

Both are rich in history and luxury, with sea views in popular locations. They are ideally located to explore the whole of Cornwall and take in St Piran’s Day celebrations. Discover Carlyon Bay and the Royal Duchy today or call us on 01271 340000 to check availability.

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