The Feast of St George, better known as St George’s Day, has arrived but what are the celebrations in aid of?

While many will raise their voices in a chorus of ‘Jerusalem’ today while proudly displaying the St George’s cross, a few even partaking in a spot of morris dancing perhaps, others will be left wondering why.

While over time the significance of the day has lessened it is still an important date in the calendar for some so here’s all you need to know about St George’s Day.


Bank holidays in 2022


St George’s Day 2022

This year, St George’s Day will be celebrated on the traditional April 23, however, there are sometimes exceptions.

The Church of England has a rule stating no saints' day should be celebrated between Palm Sunday and the Sunday after Easter Day so if 23 April.

This means if St George’s day falls during that period, the festivities will be postponed.


READ MORE: Saint George's Day - Everything you need to know about England's patron saint


Why do we celebrate the Feast of St George?

Dorset Echo: King Richard III fashioned his army’s uniform on the cross of St George. Picture: PAKing Richard III fashioned his army’s uniform on the cross of St George. Picture: PA

The short answer is that St George is the patron saint of England whose date of death is traditionally accepted as April 23.

However, if you are looking for a little more detail, here’s the longer version.

St George, born in what is now Turkey in approximately AD 280, was raised Christian before joining the Roman Army.

It is believed he was tortured and killed by the Emperor Diocletian, for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. In 494, Pope Gelasius declared him a saint.

Legend has it, hundreds of years later in 1098, St George appeared in a vision to lead the Christian knights during the First Crusade to Jerusalem.

Jump forward another 100 years and King Richard III fashioned his army’s uniform on the cross of St George, yet it wasn’t until 1350 that King Edward III would make him the official patron saint of England.

St George’s Day has then been observed in England since the early 15th century.