Cumbria Times
A Voice of the North
Jan Harris
Assistant Editor
1:00 AM 23rd April 2021

England Celebrates St George And Shakespeare!

Image by falco from Pixabay
Image by falco from Pixabay
St George’s Day is celebrated each year on the 23rd April. It is celebrated on this date as this is supposedly when St George died in 303 AD. It also couldn’t be a more appropriate date as it is the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

It is the day when we celebrate everything about being English and our great English Heritage.

Image by June Yarham
Image by June Yarham
The legend of St George

The legend goes that St George was a Christian martyr who was sentenced to death because he wouldn’t give up his Christian faith. We assume he was a knight but he was actually a soldier in the Roman army, who saved a princess by slaying a dragon. He is supposed to have protected himself by the sign of the cross. The blood from the dragon he killed formed a red rose which the soldier then handed to the princess.

Why the red rose?

William Shakespeare rose - photo by T.Kiya
William Shakespeare rose - photo by T.Kiya
The red rose was adopted as England's emblem after defeat for the royal house of York (whose emblem was a white rose) at the hands of the royal house of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) in the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485).

Red roses today are a symbol of romantic love. Red roses often appear in poetry, literature, classical artwork, contemporary films and everywhere in between.

How about a bank holiday?

Isn't it about time England should recognise and celebrate their patron saint? The Scottish celebrate St Andrew's Day and the Irish have a national holiday for their St Patrick's Day. How about making St George's Day a bank holiday?

Who else celebrates St George’s Day?

England shares St George with Venice, Genoa, Portugal and Catalonia among others as their patron saint and many of these places have their own celebrations and ceremonies in his honour.

Tudor Rose - image by BowBelle51
Tudor Rose - image by BowBelle51
The Tudor Rose

The Tudor Rose (sometimes called the Union rose) is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the House of Tudor, which is a combination of the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York.

It was first introduced by Henry VII. The Tudor Rose badge is used by every English and British monarch since Henry VII. It is actually depicted on the 20 pence piece of 1982.

Some English Traditions
Drinking Tea
Putting the kettle on in a crisis
Dunking biscuits in tea
Going to the pub
Guy Fawkes Night
The ability to queue nicely
Eating a full English breakfast
Fish and chips on a Friday
Sunday Roast
Daylight Savings Time
ShroveTuesday / Pancake Day
Remembrance Day

William Shakespeare - Image by WikiImages from Pixabay
William Shakespeare - Image by WikiImages from Pixabay
Shakespeare Day

"Cry God for Harry, England and St George" - William Shakespeare

The 23rd April each year is also known as Shakespeare Day, as William Shakespeare, one of England's greatest poets and dramatists died on the 23rd April 1616.

No one is sure of the exact date of his birth but he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and was baptised on the 26th April 1564. William Shakespeare is also known as 'The Bard of Avon'.

This England: from Richard II
William Shakespeare

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.