St. George’s Day: Why do we celebrate this patron saint?

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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 England flag with St George on it

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.

St. George's Day Palestinian flag in the sun

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's Day historical painting of st George attacking the dragon

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

St. George's Day red and white England stylish and sophisticated large bathroom

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's Day United Kingdom Union Jack Flag blowing in the wind

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.

Home Accessories

St. George's Day red roses on a table pan in a living room

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.

St. George's Day Cacti with red flowers outside

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!

Home Furniture

St. George's Day large living room interior with a red and brown colour scheme

There are other ways that you can incorporate red into your interior, such as the use of cushions and curtains.

a red fringed cushion

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.

A red rug in a living room with a cream sofa, curtains and lamp

The focal point of many rooms is the rug, so what better way to celebrate St. George’s Day than the use of a red rug? Red rugs are stylish and contemporary as well as being an eye-catching addition to any interior! We especially love this Payton Shaggy Rug in a deep crimson.

Home Decorations

England street celebration for St. George's Day with bunting hung up high

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!

St. George's Day Sir Bobby Moore celebrating the England Cup in 1966

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!

St. George's Day 3 wall art images of a telephone box, umbrella and London double Decker bus in black, white and red.

St. George's Day 3 wall art images of a telephone box, umbrella and London double Decker bus in black, white and red.St. George's Day tiled wall art of big Ben in London at night

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!

St. George's Day 3 photos in one of St. George's Day celebrations

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

3 old men dressed up as English knights

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.

St. George's Day man dressed in medieval costume riding a horse and holding an England flag

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

St. George's Day baked cookies with red and white England flag icing

St. George's Day sponge cupcakes with red and white icing

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!

St. George's Day Black and white close up image of Liam Gallagher and his Oasis band members.

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!

St. George's Day party with bunting England flags and celebrations

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!

St. George's Day ye olde trip to Jerusalem pub the oldest inn in England

If you want to try a new pub out, how does the oldest pub in England sound? The pub dates back to 1189 and was originally a meeting place for Richard the Lionheart’s crusading knights while on their way to the Holy Land. The history of the place is fascinating with tales of ghost sightings and poltergeist-driven antics rife!


St. George's Day small cosy pub room with a wall art of a sword

After a pint of the house dark ale, do you think you’d be brave enough to take a tour of the pub’s rear drinking rooms and cellars? The rooms are filled with unusual relics with the cobweb-ridden ‘Cursed Galleon’ said to bring a gruesome death on all who dare dust it!

Head Out To An Organised Show or Event

St. George's Day jousting event with a man in blue riding a dark brown horse

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!


St. George's Day England flag with pictures of St. George's Day celebrations

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!

How To Celebrate St. George's Day In Style
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How To Celebrate St. George's Day In Style
St. George's Day is a Christian celebration taking place on April 23rd... here's everything you need to know about this patron saint.
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The Rug Seller
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