St. Piran’s Day celebrations continue
Celebrations honoring St. Piran, the patron of Cornish tin miners, continue today with the singing of rowdy pub songs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Holbrooke Hotel, 212 W. Main St., downtown Grass Valley.
On Saturday, Grass Valley Mayor Mark Johnson will defend the city’s championship against Nevada City Mayor Sally Harris in the annual toss of the pasty ” a traditional meat-and-potato pastry the miners carried for lunch ” at 9:30 a.m. at Grass Valley City Hall.
A pasty lunch will feature Vivanne Trevithick Brackley, the president of the Cornish American Heritage Society at 12 p.m. Saturday at the Grass Valley United Methodist Church; tickets are $10.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, a free concert will be offered by the Grass Valley Male Voice Choir at Sierra Presbyterian Church; donations will be accepted at the door.
St. Piran is the patron saint of tin-miners and generally is considered the patron saint of Cornwall ” the homeland of thousands of hard-rock gold miners brought into western Nevada County to work the mines. St. Piran’s flag is a white cross on a black background, and his feast day is March 5, according to the Cornish Web site, http://www.st-piran.com
Little is known about St. Piran, who is believed to have been born in Ireland and is associated with St. Kieran of Saighir, of County Ossary.
According to legend, the heathen Irish tied St. Piran to a mill-stone and rolled it over the edge of a cliff into a stormy sea, which immediately became calm, according to St-Piran.com. The saint floated safely over the water to land upon the sandy beach of Perranzabuloe in Cornwall, where his first converts to Christianity were animals.
According to another legend, St. Piran lit a fire on his black hearthstone, which was evidently a slab of tin-bearing ore. The heat caused smelting to take place, and tin rose to the top in the form of a white cross ” thus the image on his flag.
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Firefighters responded Friday morning to a reported vegetation fire near Blue Canyon in Placer County, with just over an acre burned before the blaze was contained.