Posts Tagged ‘St Georges Day’

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) Tweeted:
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs.

The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz.

The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.

Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well. https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/988387844111716353?s=17

Wow, to say I’m thrilled would be an understatement 💕💕💕💕💕💕 Clever baby boy has only gone and been born on my birthday. He’s in esteemed company, and shares the day with Me, Shakespeare and of course St George….Patron Saint of England. Freaking awesome.

Of course the name George has already been bestowed upon his older brother, so I’m wondering what his name will be.

As an added bonus, I’m in Durham for my birthday treat 😊😊😊😊

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20160423_161749 - 23.04.16 Dover Castle & Road Trip

Dover Castle and St George’s Day 2016

Having my birthday on the same day as St George’s Day certainly opens it up for attending amazing events.  No less this year.  Since I wasn’t in the mood for the long train journey to London to watch the Morris Dancers at Leadenhall Market, or attend the St George’s Day Festival at Trafalgar Square, (as well as which I’ve done that before a few times), I decided instead to head over to Dover Castle for the St George’s Day Festival. It also helped that I have an English Heritage membership 😉20160423_154929 - 23.04.16 Dover Castle & Road Trip

Dover is not too far from Broadstairs by train, so early on the morning of Saturday 23rd I hopped onto the train and made my way there. I’ve visited the castle before and ohmyword, it is extraordinary. England’s biggest castle, the size of the place leaves you breathless, both with wonder and physically! It takes a good few hours to explore all the nooks and crannies and walk the perimeter.  And there is so much to see.

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The Constables Gate, Dover Castle. constructed 1220-1227

The blurb promised an action-packed knight vs dragon festival.  It didn’t disappoint. Starting at 10am the events ranged from horsemanship, swordsmanship and medieval music,

St Georges Day Festival Dover Castle

medieval musicians

to a mock up village with craftsmen and women going about their medieval business.  We were treated to live cooking demonstrations, archery, swordsmanship displays, medieval music and jesters plying their trade.

I got there really early and made my way into the castle grounds, this time approaching from the top of the cliffs via bus, rather than walking up like I did the previous visit (insane idea).  Have you any idea just how high those cliffs are? You can see France from the top…hello!!!!

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across the English channel to France

A cluster of medieval tents were set up here and there, and the villagers were chatting to visitors and demonstrating their trade and crafts. A colourful medley of sounds and colours – although I’m sure it smelt a lot more fragrant than it did during medieval times.

20160423_122613 - 23.04.16 Dover Castle & Road Trip

…medieval streets were most certainly not paved with gold!

The costumes were beautifully done, flags flapping gaily in the ever present wind – which at times can almost blow you off your feet.20160423_123748 - 23.04.16 Dover Castle & Road Trip High above the castle keep, the flag of England with the cross of St George flapped wildly in the wind alongside the Union Jack.

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St George’s Day Festival at Dover Castle

I meandered here and there, exploring the interior and precincts of the castle enjoying the different displays before settling down at the west end of the green to watch the displays of swordsmanship as knights in their armour valiantly fought one another.  They are marvellous, although it does look awfully tiring.

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the knight’s fight

Afterwards I made my way to the jester’s encampment for what was to be an hour of sheer and unadulterated fun and silliness.  Whoever they were, they were fantastic. A lot of the quips were definitely aimed at the older generation, but the visuals and tricks appealed to all ages…I was laughing so much at one stage I could barely hold the camera still as I was recording.

Then the coup de grace and finale; a titan battle between St George on his sturdy mount

St Georges Day Festival Dover Castle

St George on his trusty steed

and the fearsome dragon!!! LOL – right???!!!

This epic display filled the spectator stands (wet grass) as we waited breathlessly while St George fought off the evil Black Knight on his stallion….

St Georges Day Festival Dover Castle

The Black Knight and St George do battle

….before tackling the effervescent dragon. St George is his eagerness to slay the dragon raced up to the horrible green creature intent on murder!! His not so sturdy mount objected to the sudden halt, skidded on the wet grass, and reared up so high that St George’s rump met the ground with a thump!!

St George's Day festival at Dover Castle

St George lands on his rump with a thump!

The horse was retired, and on foot St George raced after the dragon, his armour rattling, wielding his mighty sword to rescue the virgin, and slayed the fearsome creature.  Hoorah! The battle was won.

St George's Day festival at Dover Castle

…and so the dragon is slewed!!! LOL

The weather as usual managed to provide 4 seasons in one day and we had a mix of sunshine, howling gales, a shower of rain and heavy black clouds that hung menacingly over the castle….threatening to lash down but not quite getting there. All we needed was a smattering of snow (not unheard of) and hail and we would have had a typical spring day in the UK. LOL

In all a brilliant day and superb way to celebrate my birthday. Thanks St George 😉 nice to have you on board.

I can highly recommend a visit to Dover Castle. It is by far one of the most awesome castles I have visited to date.  Mind you, to be fair, most of the castles I have visited are amazing…..all in their own special way.

Visit Dover Castle

St George is the Patron Saint of England

The horses used during the events were Atkinson’s Action Horses

You can reach Dover Castle via car, on foot (if you have the oomph to climb the hill), by bus from the city centre. The station is Dover Priory


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“We are such stuff as dreams are made on” – Shakespeare

Today is my birthday and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my Mother; Marjorie Joy and my Father; John Derrek Alan for having me, although I’m sure unplanned, on such an auspicious day. If I hadn’t been born on the 23rd I wouldn’t have a story to tell about St George, Shakespeare and Me 😉

Discovering that I was born on St George’s Day and William Shakespeare’s birth & death day has been an endless source of interesting discoveries.  During my London walkabouts and UK travel adventures I have come across reference to them both….inciting many photos to be taken.st georges day (3)

On my many, many London walkabouts I have taken thousands of photos of the city and of course anything I find on Shakespeare and St George.  Here are some images I have discovered along the way and some of me at various events in London; Trooping the Colour in 2010, the Green Man event in 2013, the Tudor Pull in 2014, at the Feast of St George in 2014 at Trafalgar Square, up The Shard with my daughter Cémanthe in 2014, and pretending I’m a Queen at Hampton Court Palace in 2015, just some of the fun things I have done in London.

and our helicopter flight over London on my birthday in 2015.London Helicopter

The traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD, April 23rd, is it seems an auspicious day….for not only is it recognised as St Georges Day (the patron saint of England) but it is also William Shakespeare’s birth and death day, and my birthday… 😉
Since 23 April 1616 was the date of death and possibly anniversary of birth of the English playwright William Shakespeare (according to the Julian calendar), UNESCO declared this day the International Day of the Book.IMAG4762

Celebrated by many other countries around the world, in fact St George is even mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great. England is not the only country to embrace our lad St George, many other countries celebrate St George’s Day too, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia as well as which a great number of cities including Genoa in Italy, Beirut in Lebanon, Qormi and Victoria in Malta, Moscow in Russia, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, amongst many others it’s also celebrated in the old Crown of Aragon in Spain — Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca. So we do indeed have much in common with many other parts of the world.

As for William himself, born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the date of his birth, although unknown, is universally accepted as 23rd April, he was baptised on 26 April 1564 during what became known as the Elizabethan era – 1558-1603.

London has paid homage to both men and you can find many statues, busts, stained glass windows and paintings featuring them both.

Today is also the first birthday I’m celebrating as a fully-fledged British Citizen. 🙂


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st georges day, leadenhall market st george, morris dancers

St George and the Dragon

One of the bonuses of coming to live in the UK was discovering that not only did I share a birthday with Shakespeare but my birthday falls on the same day as the Patron Saint of England; St Georges day…..all those years and who knew?? 🙂

In the past I have endeavoured to be in another country on my birthday but since I am London bound this year I decided to investigate ‘what’s on in the city’ and head out to participate.  To my delight I discovered that one of my favourite places in the City of London; Leadenhall Market was hosting a celebration of the day with Morris Men dancers and attempting to set a new World Record for the greatest number of people to toast St George…..how could I resist.

leadenhall market london, st george world attempt

Leadenhall Market decked out with the English flag for St George's day

I set off relatively early and made my way along streets, not paved with gold but splattered with rain…yes you guessed…it was the wettest and coldest 23rd April in something like 26 years….why!!!!!!! LOL  Ah well this is London after all 🙂  So I arrived at the venue and meandered about taking photos and then discovered that the 12noon dancing was in fact at 1.15 pm so I decided to visit the Bank of England instead.  Maybe get a loan from yer man….Melvyn! hahahaha.  Seriously though the Bank’s museum is a brilliant place and I managed to lift the gold bar…shame you don’t get to keep it if you pick up, but there you go, win some; lose some!

bank of england, old lady of threadneedle street, london history

The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street - The Bank of England

It’s really interesting to read about the beginnings of the banking system in the UK and how bonnie Prince Charlie bankrupted some banks by not paying back his loans… tut, tut. Thankfully our present Monarch has more bucks in the bank and seems to be quite comfortably well off.  ‘what! what!’  Now it’s the Politicians who seem intent on bankrupting the country, never mind the banks.  But I digress…..

So after the museum visit I set off once again through the streets of London back to Leadenhall Market and along the way I visited the Heart of the City, the Royal Exchange, St Mary Woolnoth Church (The church’s site has been used for worship for at least 2,000 years), Pope’s head Alley, the site of Lloyd’s Coffee House 1691-1785, Mitsubishi trust House (has the most amazing sculptures above the entrance), the Crosse Keys Pub (A plaque on the front of this pub recalls that a famous coaching inn, called the Crosse Keys, stood near this site) and thence to Leadenhall Market and behold the Morris Dancers!

Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Implements such as sticks, swords, handkerchiefs and bells may also be wielded by the dancers. In a small number of dances for one or two men, steps are performed near and across a pair of clay tobacco pipes laid across each other on the floor.
Claims that English records, dating back to 1448, mention the morris dance are open to dispute. There is no mention of “morris” dancing earlier than the late 15th century, although early records such as Bishops’ “Visitation Articles” mention sword dancing, guising and other dancing activities as well as mumming plays.

Most entertaining and I was delighted to finally get to see a performance. Then it was time for the World Record! A toast to St George

“I see you stand like
greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start.

The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit,
and upon this charge

Cry ‘God for Harry,
England and St George!”

Shakespeare, Henry V, Act III, scene 1.

And I believe that a new World Record was set 🙂 hee hee and I was a part of it!  Loud cheers followed this lusty outburst.

Just before I left I decided to buy a red rosebeing sold by some chaps in fancy dress……one of whom was St George.  When I mentioned that it was my birthday, he said ‘go on! give us a kiss’, and so the Dragon kissed St George 🙂

St George circa 2012

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St George on Google 🙂

 Most countries which observe St George’s Day celebrate it on April 23, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD.

St George’s Day is celebrated by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint. St George’s Day is also England’s National Day.

Saint George is the patron saint of some important cities, mainly belonging to the territories added to the old kingdoms of Castille, Leon and Aragon in the historic period of the “Reconquista”.

The legend

St. George and the Dragon, wood sculpture by Bernt Notke in Stockholm’s Storkyrkan

St. George and the Dragon in Stockholm’s Gamla stan

Woodcut frontispiece of Alexander Barclay, Lyfe of Seynt George (Westminster, 1515)

According to the Golden Legend the narrative episode of Saint George and the Dragon took place in a place he called “Silene,” in Libya; the Golden Legend is the first to place this legend in Libya as a sufficiently exotic locale, where a dragon might be imagined. In the tenth-century Georgian narrative, the place is the fictional city of Lasia, and it is the godless Emperor who is Selinus.

The town had a pond, as large as a lake, where a plague-bearing dragon dwelled that envenomed all the countryside. To appease the dragon, the people of Silene used to feed it two sheep every day, and when the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery.

It happened that the lot fell on the king’s daughter. The king, distraught with grief, told the people they could have all his gold and silver and half of his kingdom if his daughter were spared; the people refused. The daughter was sent out to the lake, decked out as a bride, to be fed to the dragon.

Saint George by chance rode past the lake. The princess, trembling, sought to send him away, but George vowed to remain.

The dragon reared out of the lake while they were conversing. Saint George fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross, charged it on horseback with his lance and gave it a grievous wound.   Then he called to the princess to throw him her girdle, and he put it around the dragon’s neck.    When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash.    She and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene, where it terrified the people at its approach.    But Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptised, he would slay the dragon before them.

The king and the people of Silene converted to Christianity, George slew the dragon, and the body was carted out of the city on four ox-carts. “Fifteen thousand men baptized, without women and children.” On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.

Traditionally, the sword with which St. George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, a name recalling the city of Ashkelon, Israel. From this tradition, the name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II (records at Bletchley Park), since St. George is the Patron Saint of England.

How cool is that!   Thanks to Wikipedia for the above….a font of information as always. This story has fascinated me ever since I discovered that my birthday falls on the day of the Patron Saint of England, especially as I so love England.  It is quite thrilling. 🙂

So who was St George?

Quick Facts about St George

  • Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia)
  • Lived in 3rd century
  • His parents were Christian
  • Became a Roman soldier
  • Protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians
  • Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
  • Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine

St. George is believed to have been born in Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270. He was a Christian. At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and soon became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his Christian faith.

When the pagan Emperor Diocletian started persecuting Christians, St. George pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. However, St. George’s pleas fell on deaf ears and it is thought that the Emperor Diocletian tried to make St. George deny his faith in Christ, by torturing him. St George showed incredible courage and faith and was finally beheaded near Lydda in Palestine on 23 April, 303.

In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced Edward the Confessor as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day.

my thanks to woodlands-junior for the info

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