Published on April 23rd, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw0
Celebrating St George’s Day
On the 23rd April we celebrate St George’s Day, the Patron Saint of England. All over England, many towns and cities are holding St George’s Day Parades.
The story of St George slaying a dragon is one we all know from childhood. In fact, St George never actually set foot on English shores. However, it is because of this story that he was adopted as England’s patron saint as it was similar to an Anglo Saxon legend.
Things You May Not Know About St George
It is believed that St George was born in Turkey and that his father served in the Roman army.
Only one in five people know that St George’s Day falls on April 23rd. A quarter of English people do not even know who their Patron Saint is.
St Georges flag with the red cross on a white background was adopted by Richard the Lionheart. In the 12th century soldiers would wear the flag on the tunics to avoid confusion in battle. Today, the St George’s flag is still proudly held aloft by English Football and Rugby fans home and abroad.
St George is also the Patron Saint of scouts.
St George’s Day is also celebrated in Canada, Croatia, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republic of Macedonia.
The George Cross was established by King George VI during the Second World War. It depicts a saint slaying a dragon on top of his horse. It is awarded for gallantry “not in the face of the enemy” to members of the British armed forces and to British civilians.
A bloom of red roses is thought to have grown at St George’s grave. Therefore, the red rose continues to be associated with St George’s Day to this day.
William Shakespeare was born on St George’s Day and died on the same day. In his play, Henry V, the English troops famously cry; “God for Harry, England and St George”.
London Marathon Taking Place on St George’s Day
The 37th annual London Marathon also takes place today.
Back in 2006, one runner, Lloyd Scott dressed as St George in a 100lb suit of armour to complete the 26.2-mile course. Not only that, but he pulled a 200lb dragon along the course with him. It took him (and the dragon) over 8 days to complete the course.