Wednesday, April 23, 2014


St George's Day 23rd April
St George is the patron saint of England. Saint George is celebrated on this day which falls on 23 April every year. To celebrate St George's Day is to celebrate England itself: Our history, culture and heritage that has created our nation. Patron saints are chosen as special protectors of life and culture. They're also a great excuse to have some fun!

Like England, every country in the UK has its own patron saint that in times of great threat is called upon to help save the country from its enemies. Legend says St George was a dragon-slaying knight and he was made patron saint of England in recognition of his great acts of christian kindness, protection and faith. St George is a popular figure outside England in countries Portugal, Catalonia, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Macedonia and the Gora and Palestine. The symbol of St George, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George's symbol was originally adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century.

Very little is known about the real St George. He is thought to have been born into a noble Christian family in the late third century in Turkey. He followed in his father's military footsteps and became part of the retinue of the Emperor Diocletian. St George was a brave soldier in the Roman army who died for his beliefs. The emperor ordered the systematic persecution of Christians and George protested against the Romans' torture of Christians. For that he left the Roman army. For leaving, he was tortured, executed in Palestine, and finally beheaded, becoming an early Christian martyr in 303.

St George was also adopted as the Saint of Battles. This was not only because of his military background but, also, because it is said St George appeared to the Christian army before the Battle of Antioch.

Today England celebrates its National Day with parades through high streets, music and dancing; special St George's Day services at local churches are held, too. As today is Shakespeare's birthday,  the Globe Theatre usually holds a celebration with stalls and entertainment at the theatre, and the chance to get onto the stage and deliver a few lines. This event gets bigger every year. Pubs and private homes normally display a riot of red and white bunting on this day. Alongside all the official celebrations, there will be parties going on at various venues around.

Thanks to St Georges Day website and tourist information from LTH Hotels for the images and some historical review of St George's history.

Saturday, April 19, 2014