St George’s Day – The History and Celebrations

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St George’s Day is the feast day of St George and it’s held on 23rd April. It is celebrated by various Christian churches and by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint.

George was chosen as the patron saint for England as he is popularly identified with the English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry (even though he wasn’t English at all).

Facts of St George’s life have passed through the centuries growing in legend and myth so much so it is hard to determine the truth of his real life.

There are many accounts giving what are believed to be the facts outlining the life of England’s Patron Saint. Below are the widely accepted ‘facts’ of St George’s life:

  • St George was born to Christian parents in A.D. 270 (3rd Century) in Cappadocia, now Eastern Turkey
  • He moved to Palestine with his Mother and became a Roman soldier, rising to the high rank of Tribunus Militum
  • He later resigned his military post and protested against his pagan leader, the Emperor Diocletian (245-313 AD), who led Rome’s persecution of Christians
  • His rebellion against the Emperor resulted in his imprisonment, but even after torture he stayed true to his faith
  • The enraged Diocletian had St George dragged through the streets of Nicomedia, Turkey, on the 23rd of April 303 AD and had him beheaded
  • The Emperor’s wife was so inspired by St George’s bravery and loyalty to his religion, that she too became a Christian and was subsequently executed for her faith

St. George and the Dragon

We are most familiar with an image of St George dressed in a white tunic with a red cross fighting a dragon to rescue the fair maiden.

In the story a fierce and cruel dragon lives by the village’s water source. The villagers are forced to offer the dragon sheep in return for accessing the water. However, when there are no more sheep they begin to offer fair maiden’s (selected at random) from the village.

Eventually the Princess is selected. No matter how much her family protest she is to face the dragon! This is when St George arrives on his trusty steed he slays the dragon and rescue’s the Princess. The people were so grateful that they abandoned their Pagan ways and converted to Christianity.

Celebrating St George’s Day

If you’re anything like me then you might want to try some delicious recipes to help you celebrate.

Lavender and Lovage recommends a delicious St George’s Mushroom and Egg Sausage Burger on Toast or try the seasonal salad local to our very own Atlas Translations St Albans office St Albans Seasonal Salad.

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