What you need to know about St George’s Day

The doodle of today is Saint George’s Day. Today is the fest of Saint George and the National Day for England.

It is celebrated by various Christian churches and also by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint (England, Catalonia, Brazil).

Saint George’s Day is celebrated on 23 April, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD. He was persecuted by people intolerant of his foreign religion.

But what is even more amazing is that George’s background was about as multicultural as you can get. Saint George was an immigrant! 

A few facts for you to know about George:

  • He was born in Syria to a Greek family.
  • He served in the army of an Italian city-state and ultimately died living in Turkey.
  • His parents, though Greek-speaking, were born in Cappadocia in central Turkey and Palestine respectively.
  • He spread new religious ideas from abroad and  he’s the patron saint of a lot of diverse places.
  • He was a soldier for a multicultural European super-state.
  • He didn’t actually slay a dragon. The image is in fact symbolic of him defeating Satan, and remaining true to his faith.
  • The dragon legend was brought to Britain by Crusaders, and westernised over time.

For the classical world (classical civilisations of Greece and Rome), George was an unconventional outsider.

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