The Google Doodle for Monday, April 23 2018 celebrates St George’s Day, the patron saint of England.
The Google Doodle for April 23 2018 celebrates St George’s Day, the patron saint of England
Here is all the information on St George’s Day including what when it is, who St George was and whether it’s going to become a bank holiday.
What is St George’s Day?
St George’s Day is the annual celebration in England of the country’s patron saint, St George. It is celebrated on April 23, because that is the widely-accepted date of his death.
However, St George is also the patron saint of Germany, Portugal, Greece, Moscow and Catalonia, among others
St George’s Day is celebrated on April 23 because that is the widely-accepted date of his death
Who was St George?
There is a dearth of information on St George. One thing is for sure – he wasn’t English. It is believed that George born in Cappodocia, what is modern-day Turkey around 280 AD. His parents were Christian and George grew up in the religion. After George’s father died, his mother took him to Palestine.
George ended up serving in the Roman army, rising to the rank of legatus. However, he protested the Roman army’s treatment of Christians and was imprisoned. After refusing to renounce his Christianity, George was executed in Palestine, making him a martyr. Despite St George’s association with England, he never stepped foot on English land and wasn’t a knight either.
The story of St George first began to appear in Europe in the 7th Century, and gained particular prominence in England in the 11th century when Richard the Lionheart decided to put his army under the protection of St George for the Third Crusade. It was Richard who adopted the red cross on white background as the uniform and flag.
St George was canonised by Pope Gelasius in 494 AD and St George’s Day became particularly significant on the English calendar after the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
The story of St George and the dragon
The story of St George and the dragon was added later, in the 13th century. According to English Heritage, the story gained popularity in Jacobus de Voragine’s The Golden Legend, a compilation of the lives of saints. The text was translated into English and published in the country in the 15th century.
It was Richard I who introduced the red cross to the uniform of the English Army and the flag
The story outlines how George rode into the city of Silene – modern-day Libya – to rescue a town plagued by a vicious dragon who demanded daily sacrifices, which became human sacrifices after all the sheep ran out.
One day the dragon demanded the king’s daughter to be sacrificed, but George rode in, slayed the dragon and rescued the princess.
Will St George’s Day be a bank holiday?
While St Patrick’s Day and St Andrew’s Day are bank holidays in Ireland and Scotland respectively, St George’s Day is not in England.
However, Jeremy Corbyn has voiced his support for making St George a bank holiday. He is expected call for UK-wide bank holidays to be held on St Patrick’s Day, St George’s Day, St Andrew’s Day and St David’s Day.
‘If we win the next election, St George’s Day will become a national holiday for Britain’s workers,’ Corbyn will say at the Communication Workers Union conference in Bournemouth.
‘It will be a day where we can all show our pride and celebrate our country’s tradition of fairness, inclusivity and social justice. ‘
What is a Google Doodle?
Google celebrates important cultural events around the world through Google Doodles – colourful and sometime animated illustrations on the tech giant’s homepage that is incorporated into the Google logo.
The very first Google Doodle marked the Google founders’, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, visit to the 1998 Burning Man Festival. The doodle was just a simple stick-man standing behind the second ‘o’ in the Google logo.
After users responded positively to the frequent changes to Google’s homepage logo, the Doodles became an everyday feature.
Today, a team of ‘Doodlers’ – illustrators, graphic designers, animators and artists – work on the Google Doodles. The logos are hyperlinked to a page that provides the reader with more information about the cultural event being celebrated.
The latest Google Doodle celebrates St George’s Day depicting ‘a group of adorable English children reenacting the legend of St. George and the dragon’.
As well as England, St George is also the patron saint of countries like Germany and Portugal
The Google Doodle, created by guest artist Luke Pearson says: ‘The cast of characters are beloved in English folklore. You can spot St. George and his dragon, Robin Hood, and a child dressed as a lion, the symbol of bravery in medieval English heraldry. You can even see Titania and Nick Bottom, a tribute to Shakespeare whose birthday is also today!
‘If you find yourself in England, feast on a traditional English meal, and take in the sight of Saint George’s Cross flags flying on every street. Happy St. George’s Day!’
Recent Google Doodles include celebrations of the Israel’s Independence Day Yom Ha’atzmaut, the Egyptian actor and Lawrence of Arabia star Omar Sharif, and Pi Day.