Did you know St George is the patron saint of Greece, Lithuania, Georgia, Palestine, Portugal, Catalonia and Russia as well as England? No, us neither. Seems that St. George is a regular hero the world over.
Well, he might not be all ours, but his national feast day on April 23rd is still a reason to celebrate, so why not take your pick from one of these suggestions, and make St George’s Day a party day in your calendar. Because if slaying a dragon doesn’t earn you a knees-up, then what does!
Image courtesy of PinkBlue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- A BBQ
We might not have the BBQ weather of some of St George’s other home regions, but us Brits are a hardy bunch! What could be more typically English than stoically huddling around a damp BBQ, brollies up and pack-a-macs on, dodging the April showers, before eventually giving up and grilling the sausages indoors? We wouldn’t have it any other way.
- A Flagon of Beer
Show your support for local craft breweries and treat yourself to a pint of real ale this St. George’s Day. With names like Tale of the Dragon, Land of Hop and Glory, St George’s Ale, and Pride of England, there’s plenty of ways to do your patriotic duty… all from the comfort of a bar stool.
Or get yourself down to a St George’s Day Beer Festival, like the one held in Hemsworth on 24th and 25th April http://www.hamelsworde.co.uk/festival/ where they’ll be a selection of English guest ales, ciders and even gin to sample.
If you’re planning a get together at home, we’ve got a selection of some of the best of British real ales in our shop, so you can raise a glass to St George with a drink befitting a hero.
- Discover Local Feast of St George Celebrations
Lots of cities are now putting on free parades, parties, and fairs in honour of St George. On April 25th 2015 in London, Trafalgar Square plays host to one massive party at the Mayor of London’s annual Feast of St George with a day of free entertainment, children’s activities, games, food stalls, demonstrations from some of London’s top chefs, and live music.
Manchester has an annual parade and Birmingham plays host to a huge family-friendly St George’s festival in Centenary Square on 19th April with free music, dancing, comedy and a chance for children to meet St George and his dragon, followed by an evening concert at Symphony Hall in honour of St George.
And in our home town of Nottingham, there’s a grand parade organised by the Royal Society of St George which culminates in celebrations in Market Square on St George’s Day itself, 23rd April. http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/stgeorgesday
In other cities and towns across England, similar free festivities are taking place too so check out your local council website for details.
- Go camping!
St George is also the patron saint of the Scout Association, and in the scouting world, St George’s day is traditionally the start of the camping season. But you don’t have to be a scout to join the tradition, so get out and embrace nature!
Originally celebrated as a national day of feasting in the 13th century, St George’s Day is the perfect excuse to gorge yourself on mouthwatering English cuisine. Gone are the days when that would have been a contradiction in terms, because England is now home to some of the best chefs, food writers and restaurants in the world. So why not sample some of what the culinary giants have to offer, and book in at one of our world-class restaurants.
Or, for a more inexpensive celebration of the great British cuisine, start the day at a proper greasy spoon cafe and treat yourself to a full English breakfast with lashings of brown sauce, and a mug of builder’s tea. A nation marches on its stomach after-all.
Stop for a Ploughman’s lunch at midday, and then at half past three, buff your shoes and ladies don a pair of white gloves for Afternoon Tea, complete with cucumber sandwiches, scones and a Victoria Sponge… because aside from complaining about the weather, and queuing, what could be more quintessentially English? To complete the authentic ‘English experience’ get into an argument about which goes in first – the milk, or the tea – and fall out over how to pronounce the word ‘scone’.
If you’re staying in, go for good-old home-cooked English classics, like Beef Stew and Dumplings, Bubble and Squeak and Shepherd’s Pie. And don’t forget the pudding. As the nation who invented Spotted Dick, Bakewell tart, rhubarb crumble and the jam roly poly, it’d be positively treasonous not to.
And if you’ve still got room after all that, then finish the day off with a hearty supper of crumpets and a mug of tea. Manage all that and St George himself couldn’t be more proud of you!