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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Do you celebrate St George's Day?
Team Commando Joe members celebrating St George's Day by embarking on the 350 mile Scott Dunn Polar Challenge, a race on skis to the Magnetic North Pole for charity
The patron saint of England is St George and his day is 23 April but unlike other countries, such as St Patrick's Day in Ireland, it is not officially marked.

He was martyred because of his open support of Christianity.

According to legend St George is best known as slayer of the dragon and saviour of the maiden but, although this story exists in a number of different medieval literary versions and artistic representations, it lacks any historical foundation.

Do you celebrate St George's Day? And if so, how? Should St George's Day be a public holiday in England?

Please also email your pictures and video to us: yourpics@bbc.co.uk


This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

A great opportunity to celebrate being English
Louise, Oxford
St George's Day is a great opportunity to celebrate being English - it isn't wrong to feel proud of your country and your heritage.
Louise, Oxford

I'm all for making St Georges day a national holiday - because it's my birthday!
Tim, Moray

My dad is a proud member of the St. George's Day Club. They present an award to a true Englishman every year, this year's recipient was Henry Cooper. The association as well as celebrating the day with a big slap-up meal at the Grosvenor House Hotel, also raises large amounts for Charity. A small example, I think of how to really celebrate St. George's Day.
John Curtis, York

This is always a very special day for me. I was born on St George's Day, in St George's Hospital, went to St George's College (Weybridge), my confirmation name was George and I began working as a deputy head teacher at the school where I am now head on - April 23rd!
John Gregson, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

I always celebrate St George's Day as he is the patron saint of Doncaster, and as such is the city's gift to the nation. The Angevins later adopted him as a national saint, and his day was originally a "holy" day. It still is, it just isn't a public holiday.
Wroey, Doncaster

We should be as proud as any other nation about our country
Stephen Bashford, Bournemouth, England
I think St George's Day should be a public holiday. Sometimes we are made to feel guilty about celebrating being English. We should be as proud as any other nation about our country. I celebrate down my local pub where we have England flags out and participate in Yorkshire pudding eating contests. This is followed by some karaoke. Happy St George's Day.
Stephen Bashford, Bournemouth, England

We are celebrating St George's Day by dancing with our Border Morris team - called Stone the Crows - and performing a traditional Mummers Play. Great fun & excellent exercise, too!
Kathy & David Carpenter, Lancashire

I'm in the middle of preparing a Middle Eastern feast - after all - he was Palestinian.
Ron Harley, London, UK

The problem is that no one here knows who St George is
Nigel Pond, Brit living in the USA
I am a Brit living in the USA. I will be wearing a red rose proudly on St George's day. The problem is that no one here knows who St George is. They are so swept up in St Patrick's day nonsense that they don't care about the other patron saints.
Nigel Pond, Brit living in the USA

I would love to celebrate it, but I am terrified I might get arrested for being racist and charged with the heinous crime of prejudice against the non-English.
J Chapman, Southampton

I've never really celebrated it but the next Mini I buy is going to have a St George roof on it and I'll be proud to drive and show it off every single day. Be English, be proud and forget about being politically correct, life's too short.
Lee, UK

As usual, I will remember St. George's day quietly, wishing it were an English public holiday officially. I will fly my little English Flag, and then explain it all day to visitors! It is also my wedding anniversary .and I carried red roses..
Chris Olsen, Duncan, BC, Canada

Well, the council house has a flag up
Jennifer, Birmingham, West Midlands
Here in Birmingham we had a week of events marking St Patrick's Day. For St George's day? Well, the council house has a flag up.
Jennifer, Birmingham, West Midlands

I'd forgotten that it's St George's Day, and having just spent three hours in the city centre without noticing anything festive, it seems that so have most people.
luke, Bath, UK

We shall be celebrating St George's Day with a roast beef dinner tonight. I bought some roses this morning as I do every St George's Day, and took special pride in our beautiful local countryside as I walked the dog.
Patricia Peacock, Andover, Hants

As a British Muslim I congratulate you on St George's Day and we are having rice pudding with a red jam cross through it. I hope you all enjoy yourself.
Zahra, London

I have found it to be an excuse for racists to disguise themselves and will have no part of it. Just remember St George was actually a foreigner!
Sandra, East Devon, UK

If a man isn't proud of his country, he should be ashamed of himself
Neil Maclean, Glasgow, Scotland
If a man isn't proud of his country, he should be ashamed of himself. Of course it should be celebrated.
Neil Maclean, Glasgow, Scotland

This is England's day (and Shakespeare's) and we should always be proud of it. I'm flying my flag.
Bob Head, A Brit abroad.

Nope - I only realised it was approaching St.George's Day when I saw the fancy dress party in Eastnders!
Anonymous, UK

I would like to dress my family in England football shirts and go around wearing a red rose. Apparently the wearing of Welsh rugby shirts is a traditional way to celebrate St David's Day here in Wales.
Fiona, Swansea, UK

Son to a Turkish father and a Palestinian mother; what does St George have to do with England?
James, London, UK

Respect for ones family and country has been brain washed out of society
Brian Wilkinson, Billingham
The left wing teachers over the last 20 years have eradicated English history as a subject. Respect for ones family and country has been brain washed out of society.
Brian Wilkinson, Billingham

I don't celebrate St George's Day. I actually quite like the fact that we don't traditionally make a big deal of it. I'm English and I realize that where I'm from does have some influence on the kind of person I am but I'm not proud of being English. I'm not ashamed either, I don't have particularly negative feelings about being English, I just feel neutral about it. I think the lack of fuss made about St George's day is a very positive reflection on the English character.
James, Manchester, UK

I think St George's Day should be made a public holiday. Today I was very annoyed when I went down our local town and found they were holding a French Market day. Is it a crime to be English?
Derek Hiles, Bracknell UK

I am Welsh living in England and on St David's Day I wear a daffodil or leak. I think that the British government is scared to celebrate St George's Day because it may offend someone somewhere. Time the English got some backbone - celebrate it and be proud!
Mike, Peterborough, Cambs

it's dodgy ground, so I don't take part
Andrew M, Walsall, UK
I don't like symbols of nationalism, it's dodgy ground, so I don't take part.
Andrew M, Walsall, UK

Yes, I have friends and family coming round for this day. We have flags bunting and we're all going to be wearing red and white or any England attire. We will have wine, music and cherish all things English. Even my best friend who is Irish is up for the celebrating!
Claire, England and proud!

Every day is St George's day if you are an Englishman. Hoorah.
Richard Spence, Stroud, UK

I think we should all celebrate St George's Day because he actually came from the Middle East not England and it would show that as a nation that we should be proud to live in such a multicultural society.
Ian Lythaby, Wells

I note Google is not celebrating St George's Day unlike all the other countries festival. It's not even front page news on BBC! Although credit to Sky - it is on there front page. It appears everybody has a dislike of the English including many of its own. Why?
Paul, Nottingham, UK

Of course we should have the same here
Drew, UK

My fiancée is American and we had a superb weekend last year for 4 July with her family and friends out on a boat, with lots of food, drink, music and fireworks. Imagine my embarrassment when repeatedly asked "so what do you do for your national day in England?" to which I quietly would whimper "we don't!" I have also experienced France's 14 July when I lived there. They are fantastic occasions when everyone parties regardless of age and social background. Of course we should have the same here. Only trouble is the time of year - the other two I mentioned take place in the height of summer - but that is no-one's fault, not even the PC brigade.
Drew, UK

Yes I shall be celebrating, despite my national broadcaster failing to do anything remotely resembling celebration or education. It is disgraceful that there is not one truly English programme on BBC England today. Shame on them.
Ian James, Aylesbury, UK

Who is making money out of these flags?
Pamela Harries, London

Why all of a sudden do we need to celebrate it? I am sure he was a real person anyway. Why have we got this upsurge of Englishness is it that we are feeling particularly vulnerable with all the alien Celts and others in our midst. What about celebrating Cornishness or Yorkshireness or being a Geordie. Who is making money out of these flags?
Pamela Harries, London

Like the Union Jack, St George's day has become associated with racism. I think it would have to be imaginatively disentangled from such associations before you could make it a national holiday.
Martin Anderson, London

I didn't know it was St George's Day until I saw sign on a pub a couple of days ago. It's unfortunate that the country's national day has become so closely linked to alcohol, but it is a true reflection of England today.
Ian Mayman, United Kingdom

I hang the red cross of England flag outside on my balcony, and all my Norwegian neighbours think I'm a nutcase. They're probably right.
Phil Newth, Rykkinn, Norway

I am Irish but wholeheartedly support the right of all those who wish to celebrate St George's Day, to do so. I sincerely wish all the English people a very happy and peaceful St George's Day. I will raise a toast this evening to this green and pleasant land and to all her wonderful people of all faiths and traditions.
David, London

I would be much more enthusiastic about celebrating Shakespeare's Day
Imogen, London

23 April is William Shakespeare's birthday and the day of his death 52 years later. I would be much more enthusiastic about celebrating Shakespeare's Day than St George's Day. After all, Shakespeare is acclaimed worldwide as one of the greatest Englishmen and one of the greatest creative writers the world has ever seen - a genius we can be proud of and whose legacy continues through the generations.
Imogen, London, England

I'm a Scot, married to an Englishman living in Wales. We have less bank holidays in Britain than almost anywhere in Europe. Let's have an extra four days and give everyone all the saints' days off. Then it won't matter where you live or work.
Heather, Wales

I am very patriotic. I always celebrate St George's Day. And I have encouraged my four children to be the same. I stand for the National Anthem, as do my children. And I am a staunch royalist. I live and work in Wales, my shop is decked out with St George flags today. None of my customers mind at all. We should all celebrate our saints' day. I will have a few beers tonight to celebrate!
Craig Lish, Ricsca, South Wales

I am having a party with only English drinks such as Pimms, Gin and tonic and Carling Lager! My friends of any nationality are invited and the dress code is red/white for the flag.
Matt, Balham, London

As a student, I made a promise to myself to celebrate each of the Saint days with equal measure. Having earnt myself two Guinness hats on St Patrick's day, I shall hence be out tonight making the most of my own Saint's day down at my local!
Charlie, Sheffield, UK

Given the era of PC, when it is almost illegal to proclaim your Englishness, I shall be celebrating it very quietly. And why is it not officially marked?
Barry, Peterborough, UK

I have not celebrated this day for a while but think it is time for England to embrace this as a national holiday and show some patriotism as they do in Ireland and Scotland for their saints days.
Irene, Manchester

It doesn't have to mean you're insulting others by being proud of yourselves
Colin MacKenzie, Aberdeenshire

I wish the English would take some pride in their nationality. I want a Scottish Republic working alongside a healthy England but right now they don't seem to have an identity - what does a Geordie have in common with a Londoner? At least the Scots are all aware of their Scottishness regardless of where they come from. So go on, have a party to celebrate your Englishness - it doesn't have to mean you're insulting others by being proud of yourselves.
Colin MacKenzie, Aberdeenshire

Yes I do. I make an especial point of celebrating England's green and pleasant land on St George's Day by taking what I call a Jerusalem Walk. This morning I've been walking on the moors above Hebden Bridge, enjoying the sound of sheep and lambs, and watching the miracle of new leaves unfurling on trees. Perfect.
John Fox, Halifax, Yorkshire

Yes, I celebrate. We are having a traditional English dinner tonight. It should be a public holiday in England because we need some national identity. I sent e-cards this year to my friends and family. Its great to see all the flags out today, makes me feel things can only get better from the doldrums of repression.
Anonymous

Most English people are too busy pretending to be Irish on St Patrick's Day to be concerned about celebrating St George's Day. Political correctness has seen the majority of English people scared to celebrate their Englishness in case they are accused of being racist; blame the PC politicians for creating this lack of celebratory interest in all things St George's Day. And why should St George's Day be a bank holiday - does that mean that St David's Day will be a bank holiday as well as St Andrew's Day?
Paul Williams, Taunton

What's this George bloke ever done for us? He claims to have killed a dragon which, frankly, I suspect may not be entirely true. He probably killed a big spider with a shoe, or something. I've got better things to celebrate.
Peter Marshall, Lancaster, UK

I will no longer celebrate St George's Day until the flag of St George has been reclaimed by its people. The far right have claimed the flag of St George as their own. It's sad, but whenever I see one I think BNP or NF. I don't want to think it, but it has become a jingoistic, aggressive, overtly white symbol that I for one feel extremely intimidated by. And I'm a young white male!
Ant, Liverpool, UK

I certainly do celebrate St Georges Day! I am shocked and appalled at the number of people who do not even know when St George's Day is. We should stop being scared of being English and proudly fly our flag. We should have a bank holiday for it and take back the flag which has been stolen from us.
Adrian Jones, Sheffield, England

I fly a 20 foot flag from the flagpole at the bottom of my garden. There's not much wind today but it makes me proud nevertheless. Later my neighbours and I will have a rousing chorus of God Save the Queen.
Tom McCann, Wokingham

St George's Day will be celebrated across the country with traditional English fare. Carp Grouse accompanied by Whine. Seriously not another Bank holiday in spring! How about Democracy Day on 5 November, not as a sectarian festival, but to celebrate the defeat of an attempted overthrow of democracy - everyone gets a day off, except the kids, who could be on half-term anyway - so they don't have their school work further disrupted.
Roger Steer, Bristol, UK

I celebrate it every year as it's my birthday.
Wyn, Neath

My boyfriend in England is painting his hair red and looking like a complete idiot for the day... I'm just glad to be hiding away in Wales!
Jennifer, Cardiff, Wales





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