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St. George's Day - English [Western] Christian

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Mon, 23/04/2018 (All day)

23th April 

St. George Day - Christian  Christian remembrance of a person who, in the 4th century, was a martyr and became an ideal of martial valor and selflessness.  Legend of killing a dragon is connected with this patron saint of England.


Saint George is the patron saint of England in a tradition established in the Tudor period, based in the saint's popularity during the times of the Crusades and the Hundred Years' War. 

Veneration of the saint in folk religion declined in the 18th century, but attempts to revive celebration of Saint George's Day (23 April) as an expression of English culture and identity go back to the foundation Royal Society of St. George in 1894 and have more recently, since the beginning 2010s, resulted in Saint George's Day celebrations with aspects of a national holiday in England.

Religious observance of St. George's day changes when it is too close to Easter.  According to the Church of England's calendar, when St. George's Day falls between Palm Sunday and the Second Sunday of Easter inclusive, it is moved to the Monday after the Second Sunday of Easter. [1] [2]  In 2011, for example, 23 April was Holy Saturday so St. George's Day was moved to Monday 2 May and in 2014 it was celebrated on Monday 28 April.  The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has a similar practice. [3] 

St. George with an earl of Lancaster (probably Edmund Crouchback), from an English Book of Hours, c. 1330. 

The earliest documented mention of St. George in England comes from the Venerable Bede (d. 735). [4]  His feast day is also mentioned in the Durham Collectar, a 9th-century liturgical work. [5]  The will of Alfred the Great is said to refer to the saint, in a reference to the church of Fordington, Dorset. [6] [7]  Early (c. 10th century) dedications of churches to St. George are noted in England, for example at Fordington, Dorset, at Thetford, Southwark and Doncaster. [4] [7] 

St. George rose to high popularity as a warrior saint during the time of the Crusades, but he had no special identity as a patron saint of England during the High Middle Ages.  The saint most closely associated with England until the 14th century was Edward the Confessor. 

In 1348, Edward III gave St. George a special position as a patron saint of the Order of the Garter in thanks for his supposed intervention at the Battle of Crécy. [8]  From that time, his banner was used with increasing prominence alongside the Royal Banner and became a fixed element in the hoist.  of the Royal Standard. St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle was built by Edward IV and Henry VII in honour of the order. [4]  The badge of the Order shows Saint George on horseback slaying the dragon. [4]  Froissart observed the English invoking St. . George as a battle cry on several occasions during the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453). [7]  Certain English soldiers displayed the pennon of St. George [9] 

St. . George's feast.  day in England was no different from the numerous saints on the liturgical calendar until the Late Middle Ages.  In the past. , historians mistakenly pointed to the Synod of Oxford in 1222 as elevating the feast to special prominence, but the earliest manuscripts of the synod’s declaration do not mention the feast of St. George. [10] 

St. George's Day was elevated to a "double major feast" in the declarations of the Province of Canterbury in 1415 and the Province of York in 1421, [11]  but George was still eclipsed by his "rivals" Saints

Tudor period [edit] 

St. George finally rose to the position of the primary patron saint of England during the English Reformation, with the revised prayer book of 1552, when all religious flags, including all saints' banners except for his were abolished. [13] [14]  The first recorded use of St. George's Cross as an English maritime flag, in conjunction with royal banners, dates to 1545. [15]  In 1606 it was combined with the Scottish St. Andrew's Cross to form the Union Jack. 

In his play Henry V, William Shakespeare has the title character utter a now-famous invocation of the Saint at Harfleur prior to the battle of Agincourt (1415): "Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'" At Agincourt many believed they saw him fighting on the English side. [4] 

Early modern and modern history [edit] 

The tradition of celebration St. George's day had waned by the end of the 18th century after the union of England and Scotland. [16]  The Royal Society of St. . George, dedicated to promoting English culture including St. George's Day, was founded in 1894. 

The rural tradition of Pace Egg plays, which involve Saint George as the character of the "hero", is recorded in the early 17th century. 

St. George was selected by founder Robert Baden-Powell as the patron saint of the scouting movement and British scouting organisations such as The Scout Association continue to celebrate St. George's Day. Most scout districts host events on the Sunday closest to St. George's day, often a parade and religious service for their members. [17] 

Contemporary revival [edit] 

A certain revival of the position of St. George as the patron saint of England has been observed from the later 1990s to early 2000s.  Notably, the Flag of England (the Saint George's Cross), which in the 1980s had mostly been reserved for political English nationalism, started to be displayed as representing England by football fans since the mid-1990s, and the flag is now frequently flown throughout the country both privately and by local authorities. [18] 

In parallel, a revival of St. George's Day as an English national holiday has been encouraged by organisations such as English Heritage and the Royal Society of Saint George, partly in reaction to calls to replace St. George as patron saint of England. [19] [20]  including a 2003 BBC Radio 4 poll on the subject. [21] 

On St. George's Day 2002, the Campaign for an English Parliament protested at the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone's lack of support for St. George's Day, while announcing plans to spend £100,000 to mark St.  Patrick's Day, by dyeing the fountains in Trafalgar Square red (responding to Livingstone's project of dyeing the same fountains green on St. Patrick's Day).  From this sprang the idea of a privately organised St. George's Feast in London, the first of which was held in Covent Garden on 23 April 2003.  The festival grew in size and importance during 2004 to 2008, including performances of Punch and Judy, English folk dance Mummers Players, Morris dancers, English folk music etc. The Royal Society of St. George asked to contribute in the 2006 event, which was now also covered by BBC Radio 3.  In early 2009, Mayor of London Boris Johnson spearheaded a campaign to encourage the celebration of St. George's Day.  The event was first officially held in 2010, announced as "the first Pageant of St. George in 425 years". [22]  The event has since grown into a major festival centered on Trafalgar Square and organised by the Mayor of London. [23] 

In 2011, a campaign to make St. George's Day a public holiday in England began on the UK government's e-petition website.  It received 4,266 signatures, not achieving the 100,000 signatures required before the deadline in August 2012 to make a debate of the matter in the House of Commons a possibility. [24] 

In 2014, Andrew Rosindell, Conservative MP for Romford, argued in favour of giving St. George's Day the status of an official public holiday. [25] 

Anniversaries on St. George's Day [edit] 

Additional celebrations involve the commemoration of the 23 April as William Shakespeare's birthday and death.  Shakespeare is known to have been baptised on 26 April 1564 and to have died on 23 April 1616.  23 April is widely recognised as his traditional date of birth and commemorated on this day every year in his home Stratford upon Avon and throughout the world.


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