St George's Day is celebrated every year on April 23rd.
The legend goes that St. George saved a princess from the clutches of a dragon, and therefore, his deeds have been celebrated for centuries.
Who was St. George
According to many people, the legends began with the martyrdom of a soldier in the Roman army. He was protesting against the persecution of Christians by the emperor, and was thus sentenced to death. Some versions of these legends say that St. George survived all attempts to kill him. These include being poisoned, boiled alive, and beheaded.
A peek into history
St. Edmund was the patron saint of England until a few centuries back. St. George is considered England's patron saint because of the principles he represents, such as honesty and courage. The good versus evil theme of his legends also appeal to people, which is another reason why he is considered England's patron saint, to whom St. George's Day is dedicated. St. George is also believed to heal people suffering from diseases such as leprosy and plague. He is also believed to grant protection to soldiers and farm workers.
St. George's Day celebrations in present times
Until around the 17th century, St. George's Day used to be marked by a public holiday, but not anymore. However, many people are in favour of declaring April 23 a holiday, as a return to tradition, and as a mark of respect to England's patron saint to whom St. George's Day is dedicated. They also put forward the examples of Scotland and Ireland, where St. Andrew's Day and St. Patrick Day are public holidays, in deference to their patron saints. Although officially this is not a public holiday, many towns and institutions organise varied events to mark St. George's Day.