Why bother with St George’s Day?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Today is St George’s Day. And the birthday of Shakespeare, J.M.W. Turner and Shirley Temple to name just a few others remembered on this day.

Maybe we should just called today Shakespeare’s Day and not bother to have a patron saint

As the patron saint of England, you might have thought that there would be processions, some events and some celebration. There has been some – but not a lot!

In Manchester perhaps the largest event celebrating St George’s Day, has already happened. The parade along with horse-drawn carriages and brass bands took place yesterday. Thousands apparently watched. In London, an event in Trafalgar Square was held on Saturday and at Leadenhall Market – again in London – Morris Men will dance at 1.30pm.

There have been a few more events but nothing like the entertainment, the parades and processions that are seen on the days of our other Patron Saints, St Andrew, St David and St Patrick. Around those national days I receive a few e-mails outlining events that are taking place. What have I had for St George’s Day? Just one e-mail.

Organisations like Cadw and Historic Environment Scotland arrange free entry to the sites or special offers on their national days. What has Historic England and the National Trust, Historic Houses England or even the Department for Culture etc done? Nothing as far as I can see.

Looking at press releases issue by the government, David Cameron in 2016 was the last Prime Minister to send St George’s Day greetings.

Labour has called for April 23rd to be made a public holiday but didn’t do its cause much good by issue St George’s Day greetings yesterday so it couldn’t even get the right day!

If so little interest is being paid to the day maybe we should question whether we need a patron saint’s day for England at all?

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