Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy St. George's Day !

St. George's Day is Today !, April 23rd, so, in a sense, this is England's national day.

St. George is the patron saint of England. His emblem, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George's emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century. The king's soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.

St George was a brave Roman soldier who protested against the Romans' torture of Christians and died for his beliefs. The popularity of St George in England stems from the time of the early Crusades when it is said that the Normans saw him in a vision and were victorious.

By tradition, April 23rd is the day for a red rose in the button hole, the national flower. However, unlike other countries, England does not celebrate it like Americans celebrate 4 July with fireworks. In fact, you are more likely to see big St Patrick parades in England celebrating Ireland's National Day, more than you would see any sign of St Georges Day being celebrated. This was certainly true in Manchester in 2003, when St George's Day was virtually ignored soon after the biggest St Patrick's Day Celebrations in the city's history.
For most people in England St George's Day is just another ordinary day.

Interesting Facts
Despite the fact that St. George has been the patron saint of
England since the 14th century, only one in five people know that St. George’s Day falls on April 23rd.

More than a quarter of people living in England do not even know who their patron saint is!

Shakespeare was born on April 23rd, 1564 and he died on the same day in 1616.

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