St. George's Day


April 23


St. George's Day is the national day of England and commemorates the patron saint of England, St. George. The 23rd of April is the traditionally accepted date of Saint George's death in AD 303. As Easter often falls close to St. George's Day, the church celebration of the feast may be moved from 23 April to another date. St. George is also the patron saint of many other countries, for example of Bulgaria, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, India, Iraq, Portugal, Serbia and Russia, amongst others. All these countries observe St. George's Day, too.

Traditional observance

In recent years the popularity of St. George's Day appears to have been gradually increasing. The day may be celebrated with anything English from Morris dancing to a Punch and Judy show. Traditional English foods and drink (e.g. afternoon tea) are consumed. A traditional custom on St. George's day is to wear a red rose in one's lapel. However, this is no longer widely practised. Another custom is to fly or decorate the St. George's Cross flag in some way. Pubs in particular can be seen decorated with St. George's crosses. It is customary for the hymn "Jerusalem" to be sung in cathedrals, churches and chapels on St. George's Day, or on the Sunday closest to it.

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