April 5, 2012 By Angela Boothroyd
St George is the patron saint of England.
St George’s Day is on the 23rd April and it’s the national day of England. St George died on 23rd April in 303 AD.
In 1222, the 23rd of April was declared a feast day or public holiday by the Synod of Oxford in honour of St George.
It is thought King Edward III proclaimed St George the Patron Saint of England in either 1344 or 1348.
In 1415, after the English won the Battle of Agincourt against the French, Archbishop Chichele ordered that St George’s Day was to be a great feast day and celebrated like Christmas Day.
St George’s Day celebrations
St George’s Day celebrations aren’t usually as big as the celebrations for St Patrick’s Day (Ireland), St David’s Day (Wales) and St Andrew’s Day (Scotland), but they are gradually becoming more popular
Many people think that people in England should be more patriotic and celebrate English history and culture more. Some people also think that St George’s Day should be a public holiday.
On St George’s Day some people wear a red rose in their lapel, and fly the English flag from their homes and businesses. There are also live music events; village fetes with Morris Dancing and Maypole Dancing, and festivals with entertainment, food and exhibitions.
Who was St George?
St George was born in Turkey in approximately 270 AD, to Christian parents.
He moved to Palestine with his mother after his father died.
St George became a Roman soldier and he was well known for his bravery.
He protested against the torture and persecution of Christians and he was put in prison and then killed for his beliefs.
The most famous legend about St George is the story about his fight with a dragon to save the life of a princess.
St George’s emblem is a red cross on a white background. This is also the English flag, which forms part of the British flag.
St George is the patron saint of many countries. Do you celebrate St George’s Day in your country?
Do you think people in England should celebrate St George’s Day more?
Image of George and the dragon © John Haslam Image of English flag © James Cridland