Saint George (ca. 275/281 – 23 April 303) was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier and priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and the Eastern Catholic Churches. He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. His memorial is celebrated on 23 April, and he is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints.
Saint George is the patron saint of Aragon, Catalonia, England, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia, as well as the cities of Amersfoort, Beirut, Fakiha, Bteghrine, Cáceres (Spain), Ferrara, Freiburg, Genoa, Ljubljana, Gozo, Milan, Pomorie, Preston, Qormi, Lod, Barcelona and Moscow, as well as a wide range of professions, organizations, and disease sufferers.
In England St. George’s Day is celebrated on the 23rd April and marks England’s National Day: The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler. Often the day is not called ”National Day” but serves and can be considered as one. The National Day will often be a national holiday.
Currently St. George’s Day is not an English national holiday and is celebrated by a minority of English people.
Having never celebrated St. George’s Day and to be honest I didn’t know a great deal about it, the majority of the above information is copied from Wikipedia.
I’m all for celebrating English/Britishness (anything that fosters a strong community) and since St. George appears to be a well like patron saint (in the list above there’s 10 countries that St. George is the patron saint for) I think it would be good for our country to both celebrate St. George’s Day and to make the 23rd of April a public holiday.
What do you think?
St. George’s Day Poll