1. ITV Report

The most popular questions about St George's Day


Today is a celebration of England's patron saint St George. The 23rd April marks the anniversary of his death - where, according to legend, he was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess. But what does it actually mean?

We take a look at the internet's most-asked questions about the day.

  • Why is St George's day not a bank holiday

Despite Scotland and Ireland celebrating their respective saints with St Andrew’s Day and St Patrick’s Day with days off, England does not have a public holiday for their respective saint.

Strangely, though, it is celebrated in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where it is observed on the Monday closest to April 23.

  • Who is St George?

Very little is known about the real St George. He is thought to have been born into a noble Christian family in the late third century in Cappadocia, an area which is now in Turkey.

George proudly declared himself a Christian and, as a result, he was tortured and then executed by beheading on April 23, 303 AD.

The story of the slaying of the dragon arose much later, with the first accounts dating from the 11th century at the time of the Crusades.

  • How is St George's Day celebrated?

The day is celebrated with parades, dancing and other activities across England. Many buildings fly flags with the image of St George's cross, especially pubs, and a few people wear a red rose on their lapel.

  • Why is St George the patron saint of England?

St George represents the traditional English values and characteristics of chivalry and bravery, however, he was not actually English - nor had he ever set foot on British shores.

The saint's story became popular in 1483, when it was published in a book called The Golden Legend.

St George was decided as England's patron saint by King Edward III when he formed the Order of the Garter in St George's name in 1350. The badge of the order depicts George slaying a dragon.