St George's Day 2022: When is it, who was St George, why is he the patron saint of England and is St George's Day a bank holiday?

ST GEORGE'S Day is set to take place this week following the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 5:46 pm

Easter bank holiday weekend may be over but the month of April is full of celebrations.

Another event that is scheduled to take place this month in England is St George's Day.

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St George's Day takes place each year on April 23.

Every year, many Christian churches celebrate the patron saint of England on St George’s Day, which is also known as the Feast of St George.

But when is St George's Day and is it a bank holiday?

Here’s everything you need to know:

When is St George's Day?

St George's Day is celebrated each year on April 23.

The date marks the day when the saint died in 303AD.

St George is also a patron saint in Ethiopia, Portugal and Georgia, as well as in cities including Freiburg and Beirut.

The event has significant importance in the Christian church as it is claimed that he died for his faith.

Who was St George?

St George was a martyr who was appointed as the patron saint of England by King Edward III.

A popular theory suggests that St George was born in what is now modern-day Turkey, while others say he came from Palestine.

He is thought to have been born to Christian parents and he then became a soldier in the Roman army.

St George was said to have been prosecuted and tortured for refusing to turn his back on Christianity in favour of Roman Paganism.

He was executed in 303AD after he refused Emperor Diocletian's order to renounce Christianity.

Many paintings show St George slaying a dragon and although this is not likely to have happened, this could represent him defeating the devil after refusing to step down from Christianity.

Author Jacobus de Voragine wrote a book on St George in his novel 'Golden Legend'.

In the story, George slays a dragon that was guarding a well just before villagers decided to sacrifice a woman to keep the beast happy.

Why is St George the patron saint of England?

Although St George never visited England, the country adopted him as its saint for his bravery and chivalry.

He was made a patron saint back in 1415.

The English flag features a red cross, which is a depiction of the emblem George wore on his shield.

Is St George's Day a bank holiday?

St George's Day is not a public holiday in England.

Businesses have normal opening hours and over the years, there have been numerous calls to make the date a bank holiday.

The monarch is the only person who has the power to make a day into a national holiday, taking into consideration the advice of government ministers.

Queen Elizabeth II has to issue a Royal Proclamation to either create a new bank holiday or to change the date of an existing public holiday.

In the past, St George's Day was celebrated across the country as an event but the recognition of the date as a national holiday has diminished in recent centuries.