St Piran was a 5th century Irish Abbot who, as legend tells it, was thrown into the sea in Ireland tied to a millstone but miraculously floated and landed in Cornwall where he made his home and he became the patron saint of tin miners.
St Piran’s day is Cornwall’s national day of celebration and falls on 5th March each year. There are numerous parades and celebrations around the county.
In Penzance there was a large parade on Saturday, but today on St Piran’s day a small procession headed by a statue of St Piran made its way up Causeway Head and onward to Madron where a special St Piran’s Day service was held.
Following St Piran was a group of ladies dressed as Bal Maidens, who were unmarried woman and girls who worked in the mines, Bal being Cornish for mine. Just minutes earlier there was a huge downpour but the skies cleared for St Piran and although a bit blustery everyone stayed dry.
The proceedings were accompanied by a choir called Keur Heb Hanow singing Cornish songs in Cornish, their name meaning ‘choir with no name’.
Of course no St Piran’s day celebration would be complete without a rousing rendition of Trelawny.
To hear Trelawny sung in Cornish listen here