Double Celebration Day

Flag of St GeorgeToday is St George’s Day. St. George is the patron saint of England – we share him with many other regions, towns and countries around the world as well, including Catalonia (Spain) Georgia, Greece, Lithuania and Russia to name but a few!

Despite being our saint’s day today is not a Bank Holiday, oh no, that would be too patriotic and here in England we are not allowed to be patriotic in case it upsets those amongst us who are not ethnically English; it’s not ‘PC’ to be patriotic about England.

St. Patrick’s Day (for Ireland) is a Bank Holiday, so is St. Andrew’s Day (for Scotland) and we are allowed to celebrate special days with those whose ethnic roots are not here in the UK, such as Diwali or West Indian Carnival amongst others and we have St. Patrick’s Day parades in English cities, but nothing for St George.

Actually that is not strictly true, we do have St. Georges Day Parades. Many towns up and down the country have Church Parades for the uniformed organisations such as Guides, Scouts and armed forces Cadets, led by a band and members of the British Legion. This is usually a simple march up a short length of road, carrying their banners, into Church for a service on the nearest Sunday to the day (this year that was yesterday) and does not inspire a great deal of celebration amongst the population at large, no major public show of unity, purpose and celebration – I repeat, that would be too patriotic. I can’t help feeling that there are large numbers of our population who not aware that today is St. George’s Day, or possibly even that he is our patron saint.

The second cause for celebration today is that it is also the birthday of the bard – William Shakespeare. Unfortunately I also fear that there are many who are equally unaware of this and probably don’t care anyway – despite the fact that they quite unknowingly quote (or misquote) from his works in their ordinary everyday speech. If I start listing all the words, phrases and expressions he introduced into our language I will be here all day and beyond!

So in honour of our Double Celebration Day today I wish you all a Happy St. George’s Day and leave you with a quote from the bard:

“The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry! England and Saint George.'”

Henry V Act III Scene I


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. grumpyoldchemist
    Apr 23, 2018 @ 12:05:10

    I did so on the Tube an advert from the mayor for a celebration today in Trafalgar Square. So the Muslim is doing better than Red Ken or I believe, Boris.


  2. Jules
    Apr 23, 2018 @ 13:30:27

    In the US there are similar issues in regards to religious or other patriotic celebrations. Only the New England States celebrate Patriots Day. Which is also the running of the Boston Marathon.

    As for the Bard – there is still debate on wether all the works can be attributed to one person. However, the collective works are still quite amazing.

    It is an issue with any country that has accepted so many different peoples with open arms to make them feel included. But one must remember it was (most often by their choice) that they left their own countries for a better life.

    That is what my own (combined with my hubby’s) ancestors did from Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Russia. Two and three generations ago.
    Yet when our ancestors came to America they did not expect to be coddled. And they worked very hard to become Americans first, with their heritage taking sometimes a very distant back or second seat.


    • Libby
      Apr 23, 2018 @ 19:19:33

      I have no problem with accepting different peoples or their celebrations, but let us also celebrate Englishness. The only times we seem to be allowed to be slightly patriotic for England is when supporting football (which I don’t) or the Commonwealth Games, when each nation of the UK competes separately (though we English also cheer the other home nations!). Perhaps it is partly to do with the English natural reserve, as a people we are not overly demonstrative!


      • Jules
        Apr 23, 2018 @ 19:49:52

        It is similar in the States. Being politically correct has gone to the extreme that one can’t say anything without being accused of being against someone else. That and we have never adopted (American) English as a national language. Though our constitution is written in English – everyone expects instructions in their native or former native language. And some areas with a strong population of a particular peoples list their own regional language before English.

        When my grandparents came they made sure to learn English and practically gave up their own language to become Americans. But everyone who comes now expects to be coddled. Not all but a good many expect easy street without any actual work.

  3. wonderwall360blog
    Apr 23, 2018 @ 13:48:54

    No one will be mentioning Shakespeare now royal baby here.


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