Saint George’s Day is celebrated every year on April 23 which is the accepted date of Saint George’s death. Saint George is the patron saint of England, Portugal, Bulgaria, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and many other cities across Europe. It is also marked as a provincial government holiday in Newfoundland, Canada, and a regional holiday in the Aragon region of Spain and the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. St. George is also the patron saint of several organizations, like the Scout Movement, which regularly celebrates St. George’s Day every year.
History of Saint George's Day
Saint George is said to be born around the year 280 A.D. in the region of Turkey. He started as a soldier in the Roman Army and eventually rose up the ranks, becoming a personal guard to Emperor Diocletian. Saint George is popularly known for slaying a dragon. According to the legend, the town of Silene had only one well and it was guarded by a dragon. The inhabitants of the town had to make a human sacrifice every day to get water from the well. One day Saint Goerge was visiting and a princess had been selected for sacrifice. Saint George saved the princess, killed the dragon, and gave the people of Silene easy access to the well. After this act of bravery, the town people converted to Christianity
Saint George was Christian at the time Rome was ruled by Emperor Diocletian, who was an anti-Christian. He refused to bow down and make sacrifices for the Roman gods. This brought a lot of torture on him and finally, he was beheaded for being a Christian on April 23, 303 A.D. He is buried in Israel in the town of Lod.
His reason for his popularity is not his martyrdom or resistance to the emperor, but his tales of heroism. His legends speak of rescuing maidens, slaying dragons, and saving people. These stories emerged in the 11th century and eventually became famous in parts of Asia and all of Europe. St. George is appreciated and celebrated the most in England. There was a time when his day was celebrated like Christmas. Saint George being the country’s patron saint, is as iconic as the white and red flag.
Saint George's Day timeline
Saint George is born in the region of Turkey during the Roman Empire era.
Saint George is beheaded for not obeying the Roman Gods.
A monastery is built in Jerusalem and dedicated to Saint George.
England unites with Scotland, bringing to an end the celebration of Saint George Day being like Christmas.
Saint George's Day FAQs
Why do we celebrate Saint George’s Day?
The legend of St. George and the Dragon describes the saint taming and slaying a dragon that demanded human sacrifices. We celebrate Saint George’s Day on April 23 — the anniversary of his death in 303 A.D.
What is celebrated during Saint George’s Day?
Saint George’s Day is celebrated annually on April 23. This is St. George’s recorded day of death, so the holiday is used to memorialize his life and deeds with feasts, fellowship, and national pride.
Who celebrates Saint George’s Day?
In England, a feast day of St. George has been celebrated for hundreds of years on 23 April, which was possibly the date of his martyrdom.
How to Observe Saint George's Day
Observe holiday customs
What other way to celebrate than to follow the customs? Fly the red and white flag of St. George, wear a red rose, dress in blue, and together with your friends and family recited the poem "Jerusalem" to honor the day.
Participate in fun activities
You will find various activities for Saint George Day around you. Take part in the parade, prepare a dinner for everyone or simply go out dancing.
Mention it on social media
You can celebrate the day by mentioning it on your social media platform. Create a hashtag and share it with your friends and followers to let them know about the day as well.
5 Interesting Facts About Saint George
Myths of resurrection
According to a fifth-century myth, St. George recovered three times after being killed, cut into pieces, and once even after being buried.
Demoted to optional worship status
Due to ambiguity about his history, Pope Paul VI demoted him to optional worship in 1969 which was later reinstated by John Paul II in 2000.
National Feast Day
In 1415, Saint George Day was declared as National Feast Day in England but was canceled after the union with Scotland.
George Cross Medal
In the U.K., the highest medal a civilian can earn for his bravery and courage is the George Cross Medal.
Patron of various things and people
St. George is the patron saint of sufferers of skin diseases, plague, leprosy and butchers, horses, farmers, horse riders, and soldiers.
Why Saint George's Day is Important
It’s a symbol of heroism
Saint George is not only a patron saint but a symbol of heroism, bravery, and courage for the Christian community. He is considered to be a noble of great heroic deeds and courage.
He’s been a saint for more than 1,000 years
St. George has been considered a saint for more than 1,000 years, even before the holiday. Pope Gelasius in 494 A.D. claimed that he was one of the people whose acts are known only to God, but whose names are revered among men.
He was a martyr
Like many saints, St. George has also been described as a martyr because of his firm Christian faith. He did not bow to the Roman gods or make sacrifices for them even after undergoing torture by the Emperor.
Saint George's Day dates