Slay a Dragon Day, celebrated on April 23 every year, marks the death of St. George and his mighty victory over a fearsome dragon. The legend follows that the dragon terrorized a local village, extorting the village and demanding tribute, the consequences for not delivering were complete annihilation. When villagers failed to supply the dragon with livestock and other valuables, the dragon would then demand a human sacrifice as tribute, which the villagers would supply. St George arrives after a beloved princess is chosen as the dragon’s next tribute. After a mighty battle, St. George emerged the victor, and his courage has forever been enshrined in history.
History of Slay a Dragon Day
Slay a Dragon Day, more commonly known as St. George’s Day is a legend that was born centuries ago. A young dragon slayer, who defended a village, and its princess’ virtue has forever left a symbol of bravery and courage. St. George died in 303 A.D. after Roman Emperor Diocletian had him beheaded. He was Canonized in 494 A.D. by the catholic church, and as his legend spread throughout the world it took on new dimensions and its meaning evolved throughout the ages.
The true story of St. George has his birth placed far from England where he is their Patron Saint. Born in the middle east, most likely in Turkey, he was a young Christian soldier who served in the Roman army. His bravery on the field of battle was inspiring and his warrior spirit was envied, even by the Emperor of Rome. St. George became a political conundrum, as a Christian serving in the Roman army, his prowess on the battlefield and religious affinity became intertwined, and those around him began to question their deities and their power, in light of how St. George managed to walk away from every battle.
The emperor, threatened by his Christianity, and popularity, had him decapitated for his beliefs which ultimately made him a martyr and a symbol for Christians everywhere. The exact site where St. George faced off with the mighty dragon is unknown, however, Dragon Hill, in Oxfordshire, England is thought to be the location where the clash took place. While we know that there was a St. George in the Roman army, and the legend of St. George lives on English soil, his impact on the world is unique, as Georgians celebrate their namesake twice a year and around the world varying interpretations of the saint have led to April 23 being marked as a sacred day.
St. George represents those who we honor. He represents the noblest form of chivalry, selfless devotion to defending the innocent and vanquishing evil. His legend has remained relevant, and although the existence of dragons is yet to be proven, today, we all have to face our dragons, in one shape or form.
Slay a Dragon Day timeline
St. George is born into a Christian home in Turkey.
St. George is tortured for seven years — Emperor Diocletian of Rome attempts to force St. George to forsake his Christianity.
The first crusade for the holy land begins and with it, the rise in popularity of Christian soldiers who battle dragons and win.
King Edward III names St. George the Patron Saint of England.
King Henry V’s famous victory over the French is hailed as a victory by St. George himself, the Order of the Garter grows in importance, and St. George’s embrace is felt across the nation.
Slay a Dragon Day FAQs
Can I celebrate if I’m not English?
Definitely, despite popular belief, St. George wasn’t English either.
When did St. George slay the dragon?
If the legend is true, the date and time that the dragon was famously slain are unknown.
Are dragons real?
We don’t want to say no so rather, the existence of dragons is yet to be proven, or disproven for that matter.
Slay a Dragon Day Activities
Overcome a challenge
St George’s day is about courage and conviction. Use this day to help you overcome something challenging in your life.
Head over to a pub
As the Patron Saint of England, pubs around the world celebrate this day with a great party. Celebrate it with your friends and family and your favorite pub.
In the classic film man meets dragon, 1996, a would-be dragon slayer develops a bond with the last dragon in England. Relive this classic today.
5 Interesting Facts About Saint George
There was no dragon
The original story of St. George paints him as a soldier following orders in the Roman Army — he was not a knight and he never slew a dragon.
Technically, he’s not English
It was only after the crusades that St George was adopted by the English — his entire story, even the battle at Dragon Hill, historically could not have taken place as he was never in England.
St. George’s Day is special in Georgia
In Georgia, St George’s Day is celebrated twice a year, 6 May and 23 September — Georgians celebrate St. George’s efforts to bring Christianity to the region.
Everyone believes in dragons
Almost every society on Earth has references to dragons in their cultural histories.
St. George and Shakespeare
Both Shakespeare and St. George are extremely iconic English figures and coincidently, they died on the same day.
Why We Love Slay a Dragon Day
It gives us hope and courage
St. George was canonized because of his courage and faith. His martyrdom is a testament to his conviction and we can all take some strength from his bravery.
It lets us believe in magic, again
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we still want to believe in dragons and St. George, an international figure, defeated one. His story lets us believe in magic.
We get to have a bit of a party
St. George’s day is celebrated in style across the globe. The festivities are fantastic and everyone is welcome.
Slay a Dragon Day dates