St George’s Day

Celebrating St Georges Day (England National Day) in 2024

Every April, England celebrates its national day, St. George’s Day! This day honours the patron saint of England with the flag of St. George (a red cross on a white background) flown across the country.

Local festivities, concerts, gatherings and more. A great reason to have a big meal with friends and family while celebrating English culture.

When is St. George’s Day?

St. George’s Day takes place each year on April 23rd, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD. It’s always celebrated on April 23rd, regardless of what day of the week it falls on.

APRIL 23 2025

It’s Not a National Holiday!

St George’s Day is not a Bank Holiday in England, though there are growing calls for it to become one. St Andrew’s Day in Scotland and St Patrick’s Day in Ireland are both Bank Holidays in those countries, although St David’s Day is not a public holiday in Wales.

Who was St. George?

St. George was a soldier in the Roman army under Emperor Diocletian. He became venerated as a Christian martyr when he refused to renounce his faith and was executed for it. The story of him slaying a dragon emerged later. He became the patron saint of England in 1415 AD.

Although St George never visited England, his reputation for virtue and Chivalric ideal spread across Europe and his feast day – the 23rd April – was celebrated in England from the 9th century onwards.

The Golden Legend is an important text related to St. George’s Day. It was one of the most widely read books in the late Middle Ages, and one of the first books printed in English by William Caxton in 1483. The Golden Legend’s account of St. George, including the famous dragon-slaying story, significantly contributed to his popularity in England and elsewhere. While the book was compiled in the 13th century, its influence extended well into the 1400s and beyond.

Traditions and Customs

St. George’s Day was celebrated with a feast and national holiday in England on a par with Christmas from the early 15th century. Celebrations still continue, but the feast is not celebrated today.

Traditionally people wear blue to honor England’s patron saint, or wear a red rose.

Classic St. George’s Day activities include morris dancing, Punch & Judy shows, and waving the St. George’s flag.

England’s history is celebrated through activities like reenacting medieval jousting matches.

St. George’s Church in Fordington

The dedication of a church to St. George in the village of Fordington is significant because it shows the early importance of St. George in England. The earliest known dedication to St George in a church in England is at Fordington in Dorset (now part of Dorchester) that is mentioned in the will of King Alfred the Great.

St. George’s Day Celebrations

While St. George’s Day is not a national holiday in England, it is still celebrated with events, and other special activities throughout the country.

There are festivities, concerts, and other public gatherings to celebrate the day.

Classic St. George’s Day activities include morris dancing, Punch & Judy shows.

St George’s Day and a Royal Birthday

St. George’s Day is an important part of the country’s cultural and historical identity. It is a day for celebrating the traditions, values, and achievements of the English people, and it is an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and celebrate their national heritage.

April 23rd also bears significance for both the royal family and the country. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, Prince Luis was born on April 23rd 2018.

Celebrating at Home

You can have fun with St. George’s Day at home too! Decorate with English flags or bunting and roses. Cook a hearty English roast dinner or fish & chips.

Watch TV specials about England’s history and parades. Create some colorful St. George’s Day crafts or costumes with kids.

However you mark April 23rd, find a way to celebrate English culture and heritage.

  • Get The Bunting Out
  • Invite your friends round
  • Cook a Feast

Traditional Celebrations

County Shows 2024

National Food Days

Searching for British made products?

Find regionally made products by independent businesses offering a unique range of goods. Every part of the country has it’s own regional speciality and traditional crafts.