Grand Bard of Cornish Gorsedd seeks St Piran public holiday
The Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd has renewed calls for St Piran's Day to be made a public holiday as people across Cornwall prepared for a week of celebrations.
Events to mark the birthday of Cornwall's favourite saint will get under way this weekend.
With street parades in Redruth and St Ives today and an outdoor theatre performance on the sand dunes above Perranporth tomorrow, celebrations will culminate on St Piran's Day itself on Tuesday.
Wishing everyone "dy' goel Sen Peran da dhywgh-hwi oll" – a happy Pirantide to you all – Grand Bard Maureen Fuller said: "It is wonderful to see the number of events multiplying and being spread out over several days.
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"If we carry on growing, then St Piran's Day must become a public holiday and a chance for everyone to celebrate."
Mrs Fuller, who is head of the cultural organisation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Cornish culture, said Piran – the patron saint of tinners – was a fitting symbol for the Cornish people because he was a man of "peace, healing and justice".
"We are also lucky to have a saint who enjoyed feasting," she added. "So celebrating his life by having a good time seems appropriate as well as enjoyable."
Redruth will kick off the proceedings at 11.40am today, when a procession is due to leave St Rumon's Gardens and make its way through the town.
"This will be followed at 2pm by a similar procession from St Ives Guildhall. Tomorrow sees the annual promenade play performed at Gear Sands, above Perranporth. With a new script by Alan Kent, up to a thousand "pilgrims" are expected to follow the action to St Piran's oratory and cross.
Eileen Carter of St Piran Trust said: "Everyone is welcome to come along on Sunday and we hope even more people will join us this year for a day of entertainment on the dunes. There is no cost and all are very welcome."
Bewnans Peran starts at 2pm starting from Haven Holiday Park at Perranporth. Admission is free.
On St Piran's Day proper – March 5 – schoolchildren and others will take part in public events in Penzance, Truro, Liskeard, Bodmin and St Ives, as well as many smaller gatherings.