Saint George’s Day is celebrated on 23 April. It is the feast day of Saint George as celebrated by various Christian Churches and by a number of other places, such as England, regions of Portugal and Spain (Catalonia and Aragon), Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Russia, Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada among others.
The anniversary of St George´s death is remembered that day.
St George is the patron saint of England. Although it is not public holiday and businesses have normal opening hours, it is seen as England’s national day. In certain places there are parades (especially if it is weekend) dancing and other activities mainly for children.
The most widely recognized symbol of St George’s Day is St George’s cross. This is a red cross on a white background, which is often displayed as a flag. It is used as England’s national flag, forming part of the Union Flag,
Flags with the image of St George’s cross are flown on some buildings, especially pubs, and a few people wear a red rose on their lapel. Church services on the Sunday closest to April 23 often include the hymn ‘Jerusalem’, written by the poet William Blake. The words describe a supposed visit to Glastonbury, England, by Jesus Christ during his youth.
According to legend, St. George was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess. Supposedly, the only well in the town of Silene (Capadocia) was guarded by a dragon. In order to get water, the inhabitants of the town had to offer a human sacrifice every day to the dragon. The person to be sacrificed was chosen by lots. On the day that St George was visiting, a princess had been selected to be sacrificed. However, he killed the dragon, saved the princess and gave the people of Silene access to water.
Many fans and enthusiasts of William Shakespeare, who was one of England’s greatest poets and dramatists, celebrate National Shakespeare Day, also known as Shakespeare Day, on April 23rd each year. On April 23rd the United Nations’ World Book and Copyright Day is also celebrated which was a natural choice to pay a worldwide tribute to writers such as Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes in Spain
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