Happy St George’s Day Englanders!
Here’s the fella. The patron saint of England, and also the patron saint of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, England, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. Cities include Genoa in Italy, Beirut in Lebanon, Qormi and Victoria in Malta, Moscow in Russia, Ljubliana in Slovenia, Rio de Janerio in Brazil and many others. It is also celebrated in the old Crown of Aragon in Spain — Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Marjorca.
Georgie killed a dragon in Libya, or maybe Turkey, and saved a Princess. Quite why that makes him our patron saint I don’t know, but hey, dragon-slayer, that is kind of rockin’!
There is a bit of a tendency to associate the flag of St George with the wrong kind of patriotism the anti-foreigner, small-minded, thuggish type (unless it’s football time). We’ll have none of that here, but still feel free to don the red and white and go and fight dragons.
And unlike the other patron saints of the UK we don’t seem to have a special food and drink for St George. Tea and scones maybe? Isn’t everyday tea and scones day? No? Maybe that’s just me. *takes a sip of tea*
So let’s celebrate our patron saint. Drink tea and warm beer, because that’s the English way. And Yorkshire pudding and cheese ‘n’ onion crisps, and talking about the weather, and passive-aggressively moaning about the queues, or the traffic. And enjoying the late April weather by mowing the lawn, especially on the Sunday evening, and heading en-masse to the seaside because the temperature hits the 20’s (that’s Celsius of course).
Some places in England do make the effort.
Not overkill at all.
Some towns have parades. St George is the also the patron saint of the Scouting and Guide Associations, and they have always had parades to celebrate.
Some places get the Morris dancers on the job.
Because if there’s one thing ‘around-the-seasons’ loves it’s a bit of Morris. Oh yes!
But mostly there’s a whole lot of ‘meh’ when it comes to our patron saint in England. Half the world celebrate St Patricks Day, yet here we do nothing.
It’s the English way I suppose, or maybe we just don’t need an excuse for a piss-up, as we’re pretty good at that anyway!
I’ll leave you with this thought;
Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!!
ROBERT BROWNING Home Thoughts from Abroad