Happy St George’s Day

Saint George is the patron saint of England. He’s popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry – but actually he wasn’t English at all.

dragon
One that got away…

Why is it that we don’t celebrate our patron saint’s day in the same way as the Irish? Why aren’t we in the streets dressed in red and white, wearing a rose and waving the St George Cross? Oh, I forget, we reserve that for the football World Cup. And we all know how successful that is.

george crossPerhaps it is time we had a new saint for England, after all this chap came from Cappadocia, now Turkey, and has no direct connection with England. Very little, if anything, is known about the real Saint George and he obviously hasn’t caught the imagination of the English. George’s reputation grew with the returning crusaders. A miracle appearance, when it was claimed that he appeared to lead crusaders into battle, is recorded in stone over the south door of a church at Fordington in Dorset. This still exists and is the earliest known church in England to be dedicated to Saint George.

April 23 was named as Saint George’s day in 1222 replacing St Edmund who gave his name to the Suffolk town of Bury St Edmunds. Perhaps it is time to reinstate him?

What are your thoughts? Do you celebrate St George’s Day? Should it be a national holiday? Should we have a new patron saint of England? If so who would you choose?

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Heyjude

I now live back in the UK, but spent several years travelling the world and then living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

48 thoughts on “Happy St George’s Day”

  1. It’s a shame that English national pride, and to a large extent the flag too, was more or less allowed to be hijacked by football hooligans and the Far Right during the 1970s.
    Speaking personally of course, I would prefer a secular ‘Cromwell Day’, but I might be the only one celebrating it!
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  2. Hi Jude,
    I think our lack of national pride is much more a product of politicians selling our nation down the river in the name of political correctness and multi-culturalism. Why we don’t celebrate the culture of the nation that the immigrants have come to join I’m completely at a loss. I certainly don’t believe by any stretch of the imagination that that is a racist or far right wing thing to suggest that we do but it is is viewed as such sadly. As a nation, whilst mistakes were made in our history of course, (what nation doesn’t have things in their history they’d rather foget), our history is also full of so many positives we exported around the world, education, health, communication in the form of ships and railways, the list goes on.. only the negatives and are raised and apologies made however. The story of Mary Seacole, whilst an important one to be told in schools, has eclipsed that of Florence Nightingale who gave us aesceptic technique that has saved countless lives around the world. Just one small example. It’s a very sad state of affairs. It is ironic that St Georges day, not celebrated, comes on the same day as Community Day in Israel where the Israelis celebrate their nation. How different it all is.

    1. By that I mean we should take a leaf out of Isreal’s book and be proud of who we are as a nation, inclusive of course but not to exclusive of our own cultural heritage.

      1. I totally agree. We should be proud of our English heritage, though quite what that is I’m not sure, being that we have been invaded that many times over the centuries! I’m most likely from Viking and Norman stock!

  3. how can we celebrate when some years ago the very term ‘English’ was removed from ethnic categorisation without a murmur of protest?! We are a nation of Scots, Welsh and Brits – melting into a UK hotch potch in a land called Europe.
    “But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few,”….

  4. And I agree with Tess – gorgeous header !
    That dragon, Jude … I think it has been smoking the wrong kind of weed … [grin]
    I didn’t know that George was a Turk; but it fits with most legends, eh ? And from Cappadocia ! – d’you think he lived in one of those holes in the hills ? Must’ve, I suppose …
    Great little post, anyway !

      1. We claim to be a christian country, so I suppose there might be one, tucked away somewhere … But as I’m a total atheist, I know not ! 😀

  5. Think you opened a can of worms here, Jude! It’s a shame we don’t celebrate a saints day – if only as an excuse to do something eccentric as we English are so prone to do. Perhaps our new government could consider it as a national holiday. That would be a start to some sort of recognition for St George. Or is that promoting jingoism? 😆

    1. Other countries celebrate their saint’s days with no problem. Gosh Malta has a parade every other day it seems! I still think we should move away from the religious (Catholic) connection and have a Queen Boudicca Day 😀

  6. I don’t think there is an Aussie saint, but we do celebrate Australia day with great gusto. It is a public holiday and being in the middle of summer it is all about barbies, beach, and bottles of beer!!!!

      1. Thanks for the info Jude. I knew about Mary MacKillop she has just recently been canonized, but not heard of the other Mary. Didn’t think they are looked on the same as St George though…

  7. I walked and walked and walked…then I walked some more! Is that classed as celebrating? 🙂 I don’t want to get into the realms of Polish patron saints 😦

  8. Of course I’m far too late for St George’s Day as I attempt my massive catch up, but I agree with you Jude, why can’t we celebrate our English heritage without it being linked to football…or worse? I didn’t know that about Bury St Edmunds (which I know well, having gone to school in Stowmarket, not far away, back in my old Suffolk days!) nor about that church in Fordington on my doorstep now! Love both your pics, the dragon had me laughing but adore your header photo…now if that isn’t very English and worthy of our own patron saint, then I don’t know what is 🙂 xx

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