St George’s Day is widely celebrated on 23 April every year. There are some occasions it will be on a different day in the UK if it falls between Palm Sunday and Easter Day to avoid it clashing with Church of England celebrations.
But it’s not just in England where St George’s Day is a big deal. George may be the patron saint of England but he also fills that role for Georgia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Catalonia, and Aragon. On this day every year, people come together to celebrate St George and also to carry out a range of different traditions.
St George, otherwise known as George of Lydda, is one of Christianity’s most venerated saints. His mother was from Palestine from the city of Lod, and his father was from Cappadocia in modern-day Turkey. They were both Christians and raised George as such. In fact George was so devout that he was killed for refusing to recant his faith. He is buried in a tomb in the Church of St George in his mothers’ hometown.
St George’s Day is even mentioned in some Muslim texts as a prophetic figure who was believed to be in contact with the apostles of Jesus.
He was made the patron St of England by Edward III and the Order of the Garter of St George was started in 1350. It’s also rumoured that he killed a dragon near Uffington – that’s probably what the saint is most famous for! Legend says that when the dragon died, its blood stained the ground and no grass will ever grow there again.
Not every St George’s Day is celebrated in the same way, as the festivities vary from location to location:
However you decide to celebrate St George’s Day and wherever you are celebrating it’s always good fun. You can learn about the story of the Saint and the dragon, but if you are looking for a way to entertain yourself, slots are always a good bet!