Today is St. George’s Day which is sadly no longer a national holiday (falling by the wayside after the union with Scotland at the end of the 18th century) or a day that many people celebrate. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons for this, however, I think the biggest is the fear of coming off as racist. Let’s get it out there now I am not racist, I try to accept everyone for who they are, but I do believe the English should be more patriotic. Trust me when I say it won’t come off as racist.
The history of St George’s Day
George didn’t actually become the patron saint of England until 1415, 67 years after the council of Oxford declared the 23rd April St George’s Day. Born in what is now Turkey, St George moved to Palestine and became a roman soldier before becoming a Christian and leading the battle against the Romans, eventually being beheaded for this faith. Now that’s all well and good, but what the heck does it have to do with England?
As the stories of his exploits grew many Christians started to reference him in writing and teachings. Due to his bravery, courage and faith churches were dedicated to him and in the 14th century Crusaders wore the sign of St George on their chests and backs, but it was after King Henry V’s victory at Agincourt with soldiers wearing St George’s colours that he was declared patron saint of England.
So to celebrate my heritage and the love of my country I’m sharing with you my 3 favourite things about being English…
England, and the UK as a whole, has such a rich history. Living in York I see proof of it every day, everywhere I look. I am fascinated by ‘times gone by’ and have always been interested in heritage sites. While my love of vintage is predominantly post-war Britain I often think it would be great to go on a time team like camp where you could live how people did in the past for a weekend.
A contentious issue I know, but whether you agree that we should have a Monarch or not we do have one. I love the Queen and the royal family. I don’t believe they are better than me in any way (although they probably had a better education) but they are woven into our history, our holidays and our daily lives – stamps anyone? I believe they are an asset to the country, building relationships abroad where politicians would offend, not to mention bringing tourism to our little island.
Talking over the garden fence, complaining about the roadworks with your taxi driver, helping strangers struggling with bags, meeting up with friends at the pub, food from all over the world, different religions living in (relative) harmony and even queuing are all quintessentially part of living in England (or the UK), and I love it! I often daydream about moving to NZ to be with my friend or jetting off to Europe to live in the sun, but I honestly think I would miss our culture far too much!
Have you always lived in the UK or have you moved over? I’d love to know your favourite things about England.
Happy St. George’s Day!