Five St George’s Day traditions – from Morris Dancing to Punch and Judy shows

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It’s St George’s Day, Hurrah!

England’s national day isn’t a bank holiday, but there are still many different ways to celebrate the nation’s patron saint.

Flags bearing the red cross of St George will be flown, and because lockdown has started to ease, many will be heading to pub beer gardens.

St George’s Day falls on April 23 each year, marking the day the patron saint was executed for refusing to give up his Christian beliefs.

But what are the traditional ways of celebrating St George’s Day? Keep min mind these should be done in line with any lockdown restrictions.

1. Morris Dancing

The day is usually celebrated with any English traditions – such as Morris Dancing.

Morris Dancing is an English folk dance usually accompanied by music, which is believed to date back to the 15th century.

It is usually performed through the month of May, but it is also common to see on St George’s Day.

Morris Dancing is usually performed by a group of people wearing white clothes with bells and sashes or rosettes.

Their steps are usually lively and energetic, and involves a lot of leaps, hops and jumps.

2. Punch and Judy shows

On St George’s Day you can usually find the odd Punch and Judy show, as well as town crier contests.

Punch and Judy is a traditional puppet show featuring Mr Punch and his wife Judy.

It is a very popular puppet show for kids, and it is traditional performed in seaside towns in a small booth.

The shows are known for their outrageous, slapstick humour and the bickering between the two characters.

3. Flying the flag of St George

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On St George’s Day it is traditional to fly the flag of St George, which is a red cross on a white background.

The flag is probably the most visible symbol of St George’s Day, and symbolises St George’s role in the Crusades of the Middle Ages.

English pubs will usually be festooned with them.

Flags are normally flown from sunrise to sunset, but they can also be flown at night, when they should be illuminated, according to The Royal Society of St George.

4. Wear a red rose

Another St George’s Day tradition involves pinning a red rose or other red blossom to your lapel or breast pocket.

The rose is associated with the death of St George, and has become one of his most recognised symbols.

It became a symbol of the saint because a beautiful bloom is thought to have grown on his grave.

5. Attending events

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Unfortunately, one of the best things about St George’s Day won’t be able to take place this year due to the pandemic.

Up and down the country there are usually many events to attend for those who want to celebrate.

Many places host a feast, fares, theatre events, jousting and re-enactments.

Feasts and banquets are a common way of honouring Saints, so why not get your household together for an evening of scrumptious food?

  • St George’s Day

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