Yes, we get asked a lot of questions. Which is great. Great that so many people are interested in St. George’s Day. Here’s some of the most Frequently Asked Questions…
1. Why do we need a bank holiday?
2. Why St. George’s Day?
3. When is St. George’s Day?
4. Was St. George English?
5. Who was St. George?
6. What about N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales?
7. What political party do you support?
8. Is this bank holiday just for Christians?
9. Where do you get your money from?
10. How can I help?
Why do we need a bank holiday?
England lags far behind the rest of Europe in the number of bank holidays we receive. The table below shows the number of bank holidays for each country…
|Country||No. of days||Country||No. of days|
|1. Portugal||12-14||10. Belgium||10|
|2. Spain||12-14||11. Luxembourg||10|
|3. Austria||13||12. Northern Ireland||10|
|4. Finland||12||13. Denmark||9.5|
|5. Italy||12||14. Ireland||9|
|6. Greece||10-12||15. Netherlands||8|
|7. Germany||9-12||16. England||8|
|9. Sweden||11||United States||13|
Even the ‘workaholic’ Americans get 13 bank holidays.
A national bank holiday on St. George’s Day would be a great opportunity for all the English (regardless of colour or religion) to recognise the things that bind us together – rather than concentrating on our differences.
Very little is known about the real St. George and some commentators doubt that he ever existed. This makes him an ideal icon for the modern age – with no information on him he cannot be ‘character assassinated’ by the media. No skeletons in the cupboard (except that of a mythical dragon).
St. George’s Day is 23 April which is the Spring season, a time for new beginnings and hope. The weather is usually (but unpredictably) sunny and celebrations could take place outdoors.
When is St. George’s Day?
St. George’s Day is England’s national day and celebrated every year on 23 April. If the day falls on Monday-Friday then most events will take place on the nearest weekend. We have a list of St. George’s Day events on our website.
England’s national day is not to be confused with the Christian celebrations listed in Anglican and Catholic diaries. These celebrations are for devout Christians and the date is flexible because it is sometimes clashes with Easter (in 2011 it was 2 May).
The St. George Unofficial Bank Holiday celebrates St. George’s Day on 23 April.
Was St. George English?
No. Most historians agree he was born in Turkey. That makes him one of England’s most successful immigrants! Welcomed by the English, he has integrated so well he is now an English icon.
It should be noted that St. Patrick is not Irish. He was born in Roman Britain and captured by Irish raiders who took him as a slave to Ireland. He lived there for six years before escaping and returning home.
Also St. Andrew is not Scottish. He was born in Bethsaida, Israel. A disciple of Jesus, he never visited Scotland and probably didn’t even know of its existence.
St. David is the only one of the four saints to be born in his home country.
Who was St. George?
Most of what we know about the great man was written several hundred years after his death, but we have pieced together a history of his life from various sources and this is available to download as a History of St. George (.pdf format, 49kb).
What about N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales?
Northern Ireland already has two public holidays to celebrate their national identity, St. Patrick’s Day on 17 March and the Battle of the Boyne on 12 July. St. Patrick’s Day has been a public holiday since 1903.
The Scottish Parliament has made St. Andrew’s Day a voluntary Bank Holiday, and so 30 November will be celebrated throughout Scotland.
There is common agreement in the Welsh Assembly that St. David’s Day should be a Bank Holiday, so it is only a matter of time before 1 March becomes a Bank Holiday in Wales.
We fully support the campaigns in Scotland and Wales for their patron saints to be given a full (not voluntary) bank holiday.
What political party do you support?
We are proudly independent and have no links to any political party, nor do we receive funds from any political groups or other organisations. We hope our independence will encourage a wide range of people to support our campaign.
However, it should be noted that St. George is the only Christian Saint to be mentioned in the Koran (the holy book of Islam), and the only Saint to have a Mosque bearing his name. He therefore has respect outside of Christianity.
Where do you get your money from?
We cannot accept money from political/religious groups or organisations as it would damage our independence. We rely solely on the generosity of individuals who donate their time and skills to promote our campaign.
How can I help?
Publicity is the key to the success of our campaign. The more people hear about it, the more people will sign our pledge and the sooner we can all celebrate with a day off work. Click St. George Supporters to find out how you can help.