St. George’s Day: Why do we celebrate this patron saint?
St. George’s Day is nearly upon us, on the 23rd of April. Most English people have heard the age-old tale of George and the Dragon, but don’t know the full history behind the story.
If nothing else, St George’s Day is the perfect excuse to have a bit of a celebration, whether it’s a street party or just a small afternoon tea.
We’ve put together some ideas on how you can best celebrate to give you some inspiration. As well as that, we’ve got a brief history of St George’s Day to give you a (quick) history lesson around the big day.
St. George’s Day: A Brief History
St. George’s Day is celebrated on the 23rd of April every year as the date that marks his death back in AD 303. The legend says that England’s patron slew an evil dragon that was plaguing a local town, and saved a princess.
The holiday is traditionally Christian, as the story says that St. George offered to kill the dragon only if the town converted to Christianity. Some versions of the story also say that the king offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to whoever killed the dragon.
However, historical evidence points to the ‘real’ St. George as living in Palestine. During the third century he is said to have joined the Roman army like his father before him, and was eventually executed for his Christian beliefs.
St. George isn’t just the patron saint of England. He is also the patron saint of Ethiopia, Georgia and Portugal, as well as cities such as Freiburg, Beirut, and the Russian city of Moscow!
St. George travelled to the city of Silene in Libya, as the city of Silene was being terrorised by a ferocious sea-dragon. The King commanded the inhabitants of the city to sacrifice their children one by one to the dragon, until inevitably came the time for the king’s own daughter to be sacrificed.
George promised the King that he would kill the dragon if the entire city were baptised. The King did as George asked and George killed the dragon thus saving everyone – including the Princess.
St. George’s Day became a national holiday in England in the early 15th century, remaining until after the union with Scotland in the late 18th century.
How to Create The Perfect St. George’s Day Interior
Decorating your home to pay homage to the Patron Saint of England is quite simple. It should be based around the two colours of the flag, red and white, and shouldn’t be confused with the Union Jack.
St George is only the Patron Saint of England and is a celebration that should be centred around the red and white of the English flag over the red, white and blue of the Union Jack. The Union Jack is instead used for British celebrations, which represents Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Red can be quite a bold colour choice, and it may be that you’d prefer to choose a more subtle way of incorporating it. If you want a bit of red in your interior that can be temporary, red flowers are a great option. Roses are the obvious choice when it comes to red flowers as they’re one of the most popular red flowers available.
Another opinion that is potentially a bit more long-term is the use of Cacti. Cacti don’t require as much upkeep as they retain water very well, yet still provide a nice burst of colour into your home!
There are other ways that you can incorporate red into your interior, such as the use of cushions and curtains.
Red cushions such as this Lexi Plain Fringed Cushion are more versatile than you think. You can celebrate and show homage to St George while adding a warm splash of colour to your home.
Plus if you don’t want to use them all year round, you can store them and use them again around Christmas or even Valentine’s day to freshen up your decor.
One of the most needed decorations for St. George’s Day is the England bunting. Whether your neighbours all come together to hang it up across the street, or you simply just decorate your living room with it… it’s almost a necessity!
Another piece of English history that you could hang up is the photo of Bobby Moore holding up the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966. Believe it or not, that is the only time that England has ever won a world cup. St. George’s Day is a day of national pride, so it seems only right to be proud of one of England’s greatest sporting achievements!
You can also show national pride by displaying pictures of landmarks and popular English sites. Using images of London is a popular interior design method, and choosing photos with an iconic red London bus can help to tie in with any other red accents such as a rug or cushions you’re opting for.
How To Celebrate For St. George’s Day!
When it comes to St. George’s Day, don’t forget to celebrate it extravagantly. As George is the patron Saint of England, it is only fitting that St. George be revered to the utmost standard! With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the best suggestions on how best to celebrate St. George’s Day.
Dress Up in a Costume
As with any festival, there’s always an opportunity to dress up. To begin with, if you want to celebrate but you don’t want to get a silly costume, simply get a red and white t-shirt. You could even get an England football T-Shirt if you want to support the national team.
If you’re more outgoing – or just enjoy dressing up – why not go all out and get a full costume! Choose from classic medieval costumes such as knights or dragons but make sure the knights contain the flag of St. George. Don’t forget to carry a shield and a sword just in case you come into contact with any Dragons…
Throw or Attend a St. George’s Day Party
If you enjoy spending time with your family, there’s no better reason than St. George’s Day to throw a party. Get everyone round, decorate the place well and serve up some delicious. If there’s a few people, a finger-food style buffet with foods such as sausage rolls, quiche, and bowls of crisps will be perfect. If you’d rather go for a traditional meal, you could plan a menu full of classic English foods such as roasted lamb, bangers and mash and bread pudding!
Top it off by getting the drinks flowing, and sticking on some tunes by the best English musicians you can think of. Such as Oasis, Queen, Stormzy, The Beatles, Take That, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, Skepta, and Adele to name a few!
Maybe you don’t fancy the responsibility of hosting a party. In which case, local community clubs will most likely host St. George’s Day events and your local pubs will definitely be marking the day. Holidays like St. George’s Day are all about cutting loose and enjoying yourself. What’s a celebration without music, beer and dancing, after all!
Head Out To An Organised Show or Event
In most areas in England, there is usually a place of historical importance such as a castle or a national trust area with a beautiful historical building often with accompanying stables at the side. These places will often stage costumed events with people dressed up as knights and may even have events such as jousting or battle reenactments – perfect for a family day out!
Hopefully, now you’re a little more educated about the history of St. George’s Day, and you should be more than prepared to celebrate it!
What’s your favourite thing about St. George’s day? Have we missed anything out? Let us know in the comments below!