March 5th is the day the Cornish population across the Duchy and further field, will be celebrating the rising popularity of St Piran’s Day.
It’s amazing how only a couple of decades ago, just seeing the back and white colours of St Piran flags were seen as something of a quirky novelty has now become a major occasion that sees those black and white flags, bunting and rosettes in abundance. At a local rugby derby game in Redruth, St Piran’s flags were flying around around the ground when a man with a group of Welsh supporters was prompted to making a comparison the Welsh St David’s Day:
“St Piran’s Day is where the full-time Cornish patriots take a well earned rest, while the part-time Cornish patriots take up the slack”
It’s a wonder what happens to all that patriotism for the other 364 days the year.
That patriotism is continued involving a group of people who form the St Piran’s Trust / Trest Sen Peran. A non-profit-making charitable Trust which is committed to the development, protection and good administration of the historic sites on Gear Sands connected with St Piran. The Trust will promote awareness of the cultural, educational, historic and scientific significance of those sites for Cornwall and for Europe.
It was in January 2014, that the long-awaited work to uncover St Piran’s Oratory from the sand dunes at Perranporth is due to start on February 17 – with the launch of the excavation, plus a major fund-raising drive. Following a 15-year-campaign, the St Piran Trust plans to unearth and conserve St Piran’s Oratory, believed to be amongst the oldest Christian buildings on mainland Britain. The site has been of central importance to Cornish people for over 1,400 years as a place of worship and pilgrimage, and as a focus for cultural expression. Today, many hundreds of people gather at the site annually to mark St Piran’s Day. The saint’s flag (which features in a stained-glass window installed in Westminster Abbey in 1888) – a white cross on a black field, is flown the length and breadth of Cornwall. Since Cornish ethnicity has at last been recognised officially, it is hoped that St Piran’s Day will be the most successful to date.
Gool Peran Lowen! #HappyStPiran’sDay