20 April 2016

St George's Top 10 Facts

St George's Cross - St George's Day decorations
This coming weekend, Saturday 23rd April is St George's Day.

The day to celebrate the patron saint of England is often forgotten by many English folk, some of whom don't even know the name of their nation's patron saint. So we've put together 10 top facts for a crash course in all things St George!

Top 10 Facts about St George:

1 - Did you know that St George is not English? If George did exist, it's most likely he would have lived in the eastern Roman Empire. Likely a solider in what is now known to us as Turkey.

2 - George was put to death on April 23, 303 for refusing to give up his Christianity and protesting against the persecution of Christians under the  Emperor Diocletian (245-313 AD). Legend goes, the Emperor's wife was so impressed by George's bravery, and his extreme loyalty to Christianity that she soon converted to the religion and was shortly there after executed too.

3 - For his beliefs, George was tortured to death. Crushed between two spiked wheels and supposedly boiled in molten lead before being beheaded on the 23rd April 303 AD.

4 - A 5th century myth tells of him recovering, not once, not twice, but three times after being killed! Including once when he was chopped into many pieces and buried in the ground.

5 - The slaying of the dragon is the most popular story of St George''s life. But, it is actually considered rather unlikely! During the Middle Ages, dragons commonly represented the devil. The common association of the dragon came about due to the 'Golden Legend', a collection of grand tales of saints written around the 13th century.

6 - Many of the earliest legends to do with George were considered really quite outlandish! Early Christians were known to exaggerate the tortures endured by their martyrs, and according to them St George suffered in many many extremely gruesome (and unlikely) ways over his lifetime.  So much so, that one Pope decreed  the details of these outlandish legends were not be read out in the Church, to avoid making a mockery of themselves.

7 - Our very own St George is also know as the the Patron Saint of many other countries. Including Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia.

8 - It's a traditional custom to wear a red rose in pinned to your lapel to celebrate St George's Day. Don't have a rose to hand? Make your own DIY St George's rose to wear this weekend.

9 - The English flag, the cross of St George is a red cross on a white background. It was adopted by Richard The Lionheart, who brought the emblem England around the 12th century. The king’s soldiers would wear this red and white cross on on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.

10 - Despite St George having been England’s patron saint since the 14th century, a survey showed that only 20% of people know April 23rd is the day St George’s Day falls on each  year. This very same survey also revealed that 25% of English people do not know who their patron saint actually is.
Shop your St George's Day decoration at Flinger Party Shop
Will you be celebrating St George's Day this year?