Happy Saint George’s Day! April 23rd each year is a day celebrating all things English – but like tea and the Queen, is he as English as everyone thinks?
St George was born in modern day Syria and worked as a knight for the Romans, who didn’t like his Christian beliefs and imprisoned then beheaded him. His tales of slaying dragons only appeared about 600 years after his death – but these stories have also been part of what makes him so popular!
He’s an incredibly busy saint as he’s the patron saint of Bulgaria, Malta, Montenegro, Palestine, Portugal, Ethiopia, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia, and Lithuania. He’s also, and probably most importantly, the patron saint of Georgia, where Saint George’s Day is celebrated twice a year, on May 6th and November 23rd. Many people believe that the name of the country in English is from their love of St George too!
He’ll be celebrated in Nottingham today too, with a parade from the Forest Recreation Ground to the Old Market Square. The parade, departing from the Forest at noon, will be headed by knights on horseback!
In the Old Market Square, there will be a performance by Carlton Brass and morris dancing by Ripley Morris Men and Ripley Green Garters between 11am and 2pm plus the chance to meet ‘St George’ when the parade arrives (probably between 12.30 and 12.45pm).
There will be another chance to celebrate St George’s Day, in the centre of Bulwell, on Saturday 22 April. Carlton Brass will be performing, ‘St George’ and the dragon will be there and there will be arts activities and face-painting on offer between 11.30am and 2.30pm.