Cornwall St Piran events honour patron saint of tinners

Thousands of people have been taking part in events all across Cornwall to mark St Piran's Day.

St Piran is the patron saint of tinners, although many people claim him as the patron saint of the county.

Processions have been held in several towns, including Redruth, Truro and Penzance.

Later hundreds of people will march over the sand dunes in Perranporth to re-enact St Piran's arrival in Cornwall from Ireland.

Helicopter flypast

Legend says in the 6th Century the kings of Ireland flung St Piran into the sea with a millstone around his neck, because they were jealous of his healing powers.

However he miraculously floated and found his way to Cornwall and built an oratory on the sands at Perranporth.

This year a team of surf life-savers will help bring ashore a statue of the patron saint.

Image caption The flag's cross represents the white tin St Piran discovered on his black hearthstone

St Piran is said to have "discovered" tin when his black hearthstone became so hot, tin began to melt out forming a white cross on the black stone.

This knowledge gave the local people work and the Cornish tinners industry was born.

In Redruth, events have also included live folk music, choirs, dance workshops and a flypast by Royal Navy helicopters from RNAS Culdrose.

More than 500 pubs in Cornwall have been encouraged to take part in a day of music and celebration in the hope of making St Piran's Day as big as St Patrick's Day in Ireland.

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