Tuesday, 23 April 2013

What's Going On? - St Georges Day

Lacking in popularity compared to 'St Patrick's day',the celebration of the patron Saint of Ireland (that is pretty much a worldwide drinking festival), St George's Day is the English equivalent.

Saint George, however, was actually born in what is now known as Turkey - he's not English at all! 11 Countries and many citys within other countries, as well as England, all celebrate the day in memory of the 4th century Christian martyr.
Apart from a few facts about his country's of residence (Cappadocia and Palestine) and his work for Christianity (protesting against the Roman persecution), the rest of his story is extremely vague and in some parts mythical. For example the legend of the Dragon Slaying.

It actually sounds more like a Disney movie more than an actual 'legend'; you know the whole 'a dragon terrorizes town, there's a damsel in distress and a knight in shining armor who saves the day' type of deal! I suppose that's pretty rad in itself - the patron saint of England being the hero of his very own princess tale - even if it is a load of rubbish! What leads people to believe it is all fictitious is two things. A - the story didn't emerge until long after St Georges death in the 12th century and B - Middle age representation of the devil was, in fact, the dragon, so the story is more likely to just be 'bigging up' his epic rebellion as a Roman soldier against the Christian prosecution.
Today is another celebratory day too and I think you may be interested. You are reading this so I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and assume you like reading too? Well, today is World Book Night! The birthday and death day of Shakespeare is the date it is celebrated but hold on, it ties in with Saint Georges day as well?! Yep, the traditional celebration of the day saw Spanish Gentlemen gift their ladies with a rose, the exchange was returned by the gift of a book from the women to the men!  I'd personally prefer the book than a flower, nice sentiment though.

Anyways, Happy Saint George's day to all my fellow English as well as those in the many other countries who celebrate. Make sure to check out the World Book Night Website and take part in the events if you can. If not, spread the word and enjoy reading your favorite book :)

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