St George’s Day: England marks saint’s day but churches delay

Manchester's St George's parade featured knights in white and red regalia
Manchester’s St George’s parade featured knights in white and red regalia

While some people in England have been celebrating St George’s Day with parades, Morris dancing and flags, others will have to wait a week.

As the saint’s day falls in Easter week this year, churches have put celebrations on hold.

Anglicans will mark the patron saint’s day on Monday 29 April, while Catholics will transfer the day to 30 April.

The day honouring the dragon-slaying saint has been an important festival since the 15th Century.

In Manchester, the annual St George’s parade was held on bank holiday Monday, with bands, floats, people dressed as knights in armour and scooters riding in formation.

Scooter riders in Manchester
A fleet of scooters rode through Manchester, trailing red and white flags behind them

Emsworth in Hampshire held its annual parade, with Royal Artillery regiments and veterans marching through the town centre, wearing red roses.

Emsworth residents watching the St George's Day parade
Emsworth residents watch the parade from a window

In the Worcestershire village of Bretforton, however, people held a double celebration, as St George’s Day coincides with National Asparagus Day – the start of the season in one of England’s major growing areas for the vegetable.

Coventry held celebrations in the city centre, with Morris dancers and an appearance by St George and the dragon.

The Google homepage also marked the occasion, with the company logo transformed into banners celebrating St George.

The flag of St George flew from Downing Street as Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted her best wishes for the patron saint’s day.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has proposed making the patron saint’s day a bank holiday, along with those of the other UK nations, also wished people a happy St George’s Day.

Several celebrities also noted the occasion, with author and TV personality Stephen Fry pointing out that the day is also the date of William Shakespeare’s birth and death.

Pop star Paul McCartney paid tribute to two other famous Georges – fellow Beatle George Harrison and the band’s producer George Martin – along with the patron saint.