St George’s Day

April 23rd marks St George’s Day, the national day for England. Here are the Top 10 facts you should know about St George!

1. St George is believed to have been born in third century, and although it is generally accepted that he lived in many different areas in the Middle East during his lifetime, he never actually visited England.

2. Just like St Patrick is for Ireland, St. George is considered the patron saint of England. However, April 23 is in many ways a normal day in England; although it is the national day for England, it is not a national holiday.

The flag of the United Kingdom, left, and the flag of England.

The flag of the United Kingdom, left, and the flag of England.

3 St. George’s flag, which features a red cross on a white background, is England’s national flag, and is combined with cross of St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, and the cross of St Patrick to create the flag of the United Kingdom.

4. St George is also the patron saint of scouting.

5. When St George became the patron saint of England in the 14th century, he replaced St Edmund the Matyr, who previously held the title.

6. One of the traditional ways to recognize St George’s Day is by wearing the national flower, a red rose, in the button hole on one’s lapel.

7. Although celebration of the day is muted in comparison to other countries’ national days, some cities in England do make an effort to recognize it. The weekend following St George’s Day will be marked with a parade in Manchester, a festival in Liverpool, a concert in Birmingham, and an event in London’s Trafalgar Square.

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Shakespeare’s birth date and death date both fall on St George’s Day,

8. St George’s Day is also famous because it is believed that William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 and died on April 23, 1616. For this reason, April 23 is recognized by UNESCO as the International Day of the Book.

9. St George is most famous for the legend that claims he slayed a dragon and saved a princess, inspiring a whole town of people to convert to Christianity as a result.

10. The Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day in 1222.