Happy St. Piran's Day ("Gool Peran" in Cornish) from the volunteers!
Whether you are celebrating in Cornwall (St. Ives has its own celebrations) or you are part of the Cornish diaspora (a special "Yew!" to the good people in Grass Valley, California, United States, who celebrate to honour the Cornish miners who participated in the area's mining history beginning in the mid 19th century).
Admittedly, there's some debate amongst the volunteers about whether St. Piran, St. Michael or St. Petroc is the actual patron saint of Cornwall, but that won't stop proceedings!
There are many legends about the 5th century Cornish Abbot, such as:
- The Irish tied him to a mill-stone, rolled it over the edge of a cliff into a stormy sea, which immediately became calm, and he floated safely to Perranzabuloe in Cornwall.
- His first disciples are said to have been a badger, a fox, and a bear.
- He landed in Cornwall, and established himself as a hermit with the gift of miracles, which brought many to seek his charitable aid.
- He was joined at Perranzabuloe by many of his Christian converts and together they founded the Abbey of Lanpiran, with Piran as abbot.
- St Piran 'rediscovered' tin-smelting (tin had been smelted in Cornwall since before the Romans' arrival, but the methods had since been lost) when his black hearthstone, which was evidently a slab of tin-bearing ore, had the tin smelt out of it and rise to the top in the form of a white cross (thus the image on the flag).