Celebrate St George's Day with free activities and food stalls
Staff Writer |
Join the St George's Day celebrations at the Mayor of London's annual Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square on 23 April.
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corated in red and white for England's national day, the square is lined with stalls selling traditional English food, inspired by St George’s Day’s 13th-century origins as a national day of feasting.
There are also free children's art workshops, stilt walkers, Pearly Kings and Queens, and a mixture of traditional and contemporary live music.
In celebration of the centenary of the women’s right to vote, a Victorian music hall show also features tributes to popular female artists from London’s past.
St George's Day was once celebrated as widely as Christmas. But the celebrations waned by the end of the 18th century after England had united with Scotland on May 1, 1707.
St George is the patron saint of England and St George's Day falls on 23 April. His name is most commonly associated with the legend of St George and the Dragon.
In the mythical tale, George obtains glory by slaying a dragon that is terrorising the countryside and is about to eat a beautiful princess.
This story is loosely based on a real-life George who was born around 280AD and grew up to become a Christian soldier of the Roman Empire.
The myth of St George and the Dragon in England was known prior to the Norman conquest in 1066, but the idea of George as the nation's patron saint probably caught on around William Shakespeare's time.
During the crusades in the 1100s and 1200s, English knights used St George's cross as part of their uniform.
Now Saint George's cross is used as a national symbol by fans of the English national football, rugby and cricket teams.
St George has also inspired medals for bravery. During the Second World War, King George VI established the George Cross - the highest such award that a civilian can earn.
Fervent English fans mark the day up and down the country with parades, dancing and waving flags from buildings and pubs. Some people wear a rose, England's national flower, on their lapel.