St George’s Day 2022: What is St George’s Day all about and why is it celebrated in England?

IT’S a day when England can show it’s patriotic pride.

By Tom Cotterill
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 2:41 pm

But for the last couple of year’s St George’s Day celebrations have been curtailed across towns and cities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this weekend marks the first time since 2019 that the communities have been able to get together without the worry of Covid-19 restrictions clouding all the action.

St George has been celebrated as the patron saint of England since the 14th century.

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The annual St George's Day parade in Emsworth in 2019. Pictured is: (middle) Emily Matthews (8) from Emsworth Primary School. Picture: Sarah Standing (230419-5637)

However, his saint day is not classed as a bank holiday in the UK, although it is elsewhere.

Here’s everything you need to know about St George, his battle with the dragon and why he is England’s patron saint.

When is St George’s Day?

In 2022, St George’s Day falls on Saturday 23 April.

Is St George’s Day a bank holiday?

St George’s Day is not a bank holiday in England.

There have been calls for the day to become recognised as one, similarly to how St Patrick’s Day is a bank holiday in Ireland, but as of yet this has not happened.

Even though St George’s Day is not a bank holiday in England, it is celebrated as a bank holiday in The Vatican.

Who was St George?

St George is the patron saint of England and Georgia.

He was born in the third century in Cappadocia, Turkey and became a high-ranking soldier in the Roman army.

After converting to Christianity, St George protested against the army’s harsh treatments of Christians, which led to him being sentenced to death.

His torture and execution made him a Christian martyr and St George was canonized as a saint by Pope Gelasius I.

Why is St George the patron saint of England?

St George grew in popularity in England during the time of the crusades as he symbolised Christian chivalry.

Although he never visited England, his story of self-sacrifice and virtue spread, making him popular with English kings and knights of the time.

He was officially chosen as the patron saint of England in 1350 by King Edward III.

Did St George defeat the dragon?

The most popular story of St George depicts him defeating a dragon.

The story goes that he travelled to the town of Silene, Libya to slay a dragon that was terrorising the citizens. Upon witnessing his bravery, the villagers held a huge feast in his honour.

This tale was meant to symbolise the battle between good and evil with the dragon representing the devil.