Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Saint George’s Day!

St George's Cross

Next Tuesday April 23rd is St. George’s Day! What day? Poor George he isn't as popular as Patrick!

Every April 23rd is used to give thanks to the patron saint of England - St. George. The holiday was first celebrated in England in 1399 and the day has grown to other countries including Canada, Croatia, Portugal, Greece and parts of Russia. 

There are also many other notable anniversaries for April 23rd:
  • The birthday and death date of William Shakespeare
  • The birthday of artist JMW Turner
  • Death date of William Wordsworth
  • King Charles II was crowned on April 23rd 1661
  • April 23, 19274 was the first broadcast by an English Monarch – King George V

Here are some interesting facts about St. George:
  • The medieval legend of St George slayed a dragon
  • St George is thought to have come from somewhere around modern day Turkey and never visited England
  • He was elected patron saint of England because he was against the torture of Christians and lost his life because of that belief
  • St George’s Chapel in Windsor is named for the saint
  • It is recorded that the English warriors of the Hundred Years War used the Saint’s name as a battle cry
  • William Shakespeare mentions the saint in his play Henry V
  • St George’s Day is not an official holiday in England and many politicians have been trying to change that
  • While St Patrick’s Day is off the charts in Ireland, St. George’s Day is much more low key with some English folk not even taking notice

Some traditions on St George’s day are:
  • Wear a red rose
  • Fly the flag of St George's Cross
  • The hymn Jerusalem is traditionally sung (one of my all time favorites!)
  • Lots and lots of traditional food and drink is to be consumed

Speaking of food …this year my St. George’s day menu will include the old standard of Bangers and Mash and a nice frothy pint! Tales of dragons, good food and great beer - my kind of guy...

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