St George’s Day

St George was one of the most famous of Christian figures but very little is known about him except for the fact that he was actually a Roman soldier born of a Turkish father and Palestinian mother and that he was martyred for his opposition to the torture of Christians that his superiors were indulging in. He had developed the emblem of a red cross on a white background which is now the national flag of UK. Richard the Lion Heart had first brought it to England and ordered his soldiers to wear it during the crusades so that they could be identified during the battle.

St George is the national saint of UK but basically he was a Turk. Besides being England’s patron saint, he also heads the Scouting movement. As such on St George’s Day this year, you can expect to see thousands of khaki-clad, woggle-wearing mini-troopers marching the streets of UK’s towns and villages to their nearest church for a special service.

Every year, St George’s Day is celebrated on 23rd April but in 2013, it falls on a Tuesday and as such the London celebrations in Trafalgar Square are taking place on 20th April, which is the Saturday before the saint’s day. The free event will see flag waving by all the attendees for recognising the sacrifices of the dragon-slaying patron saint of England and five bands will play live on the main stage and there will be many food stalls surrounding the square.

The birthday of William Shakespeare also falls on the same date and Shakespeare’s Globe celebrates the birthday with activities at the theatre to tie up with St. George’s Day. Workshops and interactive fun and games are also organised to spread awareness about the great dramatist to all the attendees, whether young or old.

Since St George’s Day has not been declared a national bank holiday despite many campaigns, the celebrations on the actual day will have to be adjusted with the working hours.

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