Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Celebrating St George's Day in Style - Leather Handbags

St George's Day is England's national day and is celebrated on April 23 each year. St George is England’s patron saint. Legend has it that St George slayed a dragon and saved a princess from death. What a guy!

St George was a Christian martyr and represents traditional English chivalry and bravery. The strange but true fact is that he wasn't actually English at all and probably never set foot in England’s green and pleasant land. Never-the-less, the English adopted him and made him the symbol of the nation.

St George was thought to have been born in Cappadocia, the area now known as Turkey, in around the year 280. He was a well-respected soldier in the Roman army. However, he protested against the Emperor’s persecution of Christians and was later imprisoned, tortured, paraded through the streets and finally beheaded in Palestine on April 23, 303. He stayed loyal to his faith throughout. 

Red and White Leather Handbags

 In 1222 the Council of Oxford declared April 23rd to be St George’s Day but it wasn’t until 1348 that St George became the Patron Saint of England.

St George's red cross emblem on a white background was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century. The king's soldiers wore it on their uniforms during battle to avoid confusion. This symbol has carried on as England's flag and forms part of the Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In 1415, St George’s Day was declared a national feast day and holiday in England and was celebrated in grand style, much like we celebrate Christmas today. In the 18th century celebrations waned after England united with Scotland in 1707. Nowadays, people go to work as normal and the day is largely ignored.

In recent years there has been a campaign to make the day a national holiday in England again. However, a report in 2012 found that each bank holiday costs Britain £2.4bn in lost work so there is an argument against establishing another official day off. Campaigners argue for an extra day’s holiday as Ireland gets a bank holiday for St Patrick’s Day and Scotland gets a day off for St Andrew’s Day.

Regardless, some passionate English fans mark the day across the country with parades and dancing, flag waving and displaying the Red Rose, England's national flower, on their lapels. Pubs and Restaurants usually get into the spirit of the day.

So did St George really fight a dragon? The fairytale of St George and the dragon has captivated millions of children over the years. Legend says that the town of Silene in Libya used to be guarded by a ferocious dragon. In order to get water, residents had to offer a sacrifice each day, chosen by the townsfolk. One day, they agreed to offer their princess up for sacrifice. On the day she was due to be killed, a knight from the Crusades came riding by on his white horse, dismounted, drew his sword and killed the dragon, saving her life. It’s said that as a mark of their gratitude to St George the people of Silene apparently converted to Christianity.

St George is not even exclusively England’s patron saint. His iconography and coat of arms can be found on flags in countries and cities across the world. Places including Portugal, Lithuania, Romania, Germany, Greece, Istanbul and Ethiopia also celebrate him.
In Britain, St George has also inspired medals for bravery. During the Second World War, King George VI established the George Cross, the highest such award that a civilian can earn. The George Medal is second behind it. Both medals depict the patron saint on horseback slaying the dragon.

St George's flag is always present at English football, cricket and rugby matches and waved by millions of patriotic supporters.

Celebrate St George's Day in style with red and white leather handbags

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