Putting St George’s Day On The Calendar
It’s that time of year again when people respond blankly to St George’s Day. It becomes all a bit awkward as people aren’t sure what date it falls on or the reasoning behind it and yet St George is the patron saint of England.
So why is it that we celebrate and embrace other nations’ traditions such as Chinese New Year, St Patrick’s Day, Holi and more recently events such American Independence Day or Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) popularised by the James Bond film Spectre?
It is because these events already bear tried and tested traditions and almost come with their own manual of how to celebrate, so does that make it easier for us to take part?
Saying that, celebrations for St George’s Day do take place sporadically with small parades and perhaps a little Morris dancing. Organisations such as National Trust and English Heritage have events on at their properties to mark the occasion, but England should celebrate itself first and foremost and there should be more.
This begs the question, why can’t these kind of events be everywhere? Every district or even town should have their own itineraries with TV and social media going crazy on the topic like they do for the run-up to Christmas. Conversations should be buzzing with hints of: “what are you doing for St George’s Day?” But it just doesn’t seem to happen.
Regular readers of my blog will know that I celebrate my Eastern European heritage through the traditions handed down to me by my parents which I am totally endeared with, so it saddens me that St George’s Day casually sweeps by without the aplomb it should respectfully be given.
So, is the answer we take matters into our own hands? Do we create our own traditions and make St George’s Day our own? Should it be a public bank holiday?
I say yes. If you can organise something on a larger scale for your local community then great, but if it is only on a family or small scale then why not make a meal at home purely made up of English classics like: Toad in the Hole, Shepherd’s Pie and the like. Or use 100% English ingredients or English made goods such as regional cheeses (Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Wensleydale) or locally grown vegetables such as Evesham’s asparagus. The official asparagus season commences from St George’s Day, so it provides the perfect opportunity to fuse the two occurrences together. The ideas are endless.
Let’s make a start this year.
Will you join me in raising a glass of English Ale or Cotswold Elderflower presse and toasting St George on his special day and to building traditions that make us proud to be English?
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