The History of St George’s Day

  • In 1222 the Council of Oxford declared April 23rd to be St George’s Day
  • It was not until 1348 that St George became the Patron Saint of England
  • In 1415, St George’s Day was declared a national feast day and holiday in England
  • However, after the union with Scotland at the end of the 18th Century, the tradition diminished and since has not been widely acknowledged and is no longer a national holiday
  • Traditional customs were to fly the St George’s flag and wear a red rose in one’s lapel
  • The hymn ‘Jerusalem’ was also sung on the 23rd April, or the nearest Sunday to that date, in churches across the nation

The 23 April 1616 was also the date of the death of the English playwright William Shakespeare. UNESCO marked this historic date by declaring it the International Day of the Book.