Friday, 23 April 2010

Today is the Feast of St George, patron saint of England. The Synod of Oxford, 1222 declared St. George's Day a feast day in the kingdom of England.  From the 14th century Saint George was regarded as a special protector of the English. In 1415 Archbishop Chicele promoted the feast of Saint George to principal status after Henry V's speech at the Battle of Agincourt invoking Saint George as England's patron saint.

Despite this long-standing tradition, there are no official celebrations of St George's feast-day. For most people in England St George's Day is just another ordinary working day, and only one in five people know that St. George’s Day falls on 23 April.

England lags far behind the rest of Europe in the number of bank holidays we have, but if St George's Day were granted National Holiday status, there would be three Bank holidays between the end of April and the end of May. I can't see that happening somehow. I, for one, would gladly swap May Day, or, preferably, name a different saint as England's patron - St Alban (June 17) perhaps?