Like other parish celebrations, St Buryan Feast used to be a major community occasion, with nearly every household holding special dinners. These usually took place on the Monday after the main saint’s day.
St Buryan and its feast are named after St Buriana: an Irish saint who was the daughter of a king or tribal chief. St Buriana is said to have come to the area to preach about Christianity. Eventually, she became a hermit who lived on her own, praying. St Buryan Church used to be far more important than it is now, as the home to a “collegiate church”, which is almost like a cathedral. According to legend, it was established by King Athelstan. The king promised that if he conquered the Isles of Scilly, he would build a church in St Buriana’s honour.