St George's Day celebrations across the Midlands

St George's flag flying in Nottingham Photo: PA

Many people across the Midlands will today celebrate St George's Day – an annual celebration of Englishness.

Who was St George?

Little is know about the English patron saint. Many people may believe St George to be of English origin, when in fact he was born in Cappadocia – now Turkey. His legacy began after the Roman Emperor asked him to renounce his Christian God for the Roman gods, to which he refused. Following that, he was killed and subsequently seen as a martyr.

Despite the myth, it's unlikely St George killed a dragon.

Revellers making the most of celebrating Englishness Credit: PA

How you can celebrate

Cities in the Midlands are marking the occasion, with Nottingham and Derby holding parades.

In the West Midlands, beer maker Davenport has organised a special St George's Day event in Brindley Place, Birmingham, where a parade on Broad Street will begin festivities.

In Evesham, Worcestershire, the annual two day Asparagus Festival will begin today with all the pomp and ceremony you would expect on Saint George’s Day.

Coventry is also hosting a party with a five metre dragon, traditional music and Morris dancing.

William Shakespeare was born and died on St George's Day, adding to his legacy as an Englishman. The playwright was born in 1564, making today his 449th birthday. Stratford-upon-Avon, his birth town, is celebrating St George's Day with a series of pageants, performances and special activities.

The Bishop of Worcester is supporting a campaign to get as many churches as possible ringing their bells. Ringing for England is trying to encourage 44,000 bell ringers to ring their bells in churches across England.