There’s something about St. George’s Day that’s so magical. The parades, the community spirit, and the general feel of the day are all hallmarks I look forward to. The day is, for my money, on-par with St. Patrick’s Day as a cause for celebration.
Every time April 23 rolls around, I spend my morning thinking about the history of this great country, what we’ve been through, and the great rulers we’ve had over the centuries. I think of what St. George’s Day would’ve been like in the 16th century under Elizabeth I. I picture the full taverns, bustling streets, and thriving markets of early-modern London. An even better daydream is to wonder what the holiday was like under the rule of Victoria in the 19th century.
Elated To Feel A Returning Sense Of Patriotism
This year’s St. George’s Day certainly didn’t disappoint. The sun was shining, COVID restrictions have gone, and the overall spirit of the country is reaching its usual levels again. After two successive holidays under lockdown, I’m not ashamed to admit that tears came out my eyes when I considered how lucky I was to live in this country and celebrate its patron saint. Some looked at me with confusion, some disdain, and others gave approving and understanding nods - as though they could feel my elation. There were several things on my mind at the time, and several more still.
I think of the hardships experienced by the English over the last year. The shutdowns. The death of Prince Phillip. The defeat to Italy in the Euros final. I think of all the ups and downs we’ve experienced as a country and, after a few too many ales, I get very emotional. Almost as emotional as I was when I watched 2011’s Royal Wedding between William and Kate.
We Should Be Proud To Live In Britain
That’s why I was so thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate St. George’s Day properly. For the first time since 2019, the public could gather outside and partake in some patriotic fun. Having not had the chance to do this for so long made me appreciate not only St. George, but English culture in general even more than I did already - a bold statement because I didn’t know this was humanly possible.
There’s nothing wrong with that, either. Despite what certain sections of the press will tell you, living in Britain is truly an honor. We have led the way with our recent world-beating vaccination program, our healthcare model, and our long-standing monarch. We play a huge role in the dealings of the world and have left an indelible mark on global culture, technology, engineering and politics.
Should Be Celebrated Far And Wide
I see no reason why St. George’s Day can’t become the most celebrated public holiday in the world. St. Patrick’s Day may have the most exposure, but its usual descent into drunken chaos has somewhat damaged its reputation.
St. George’s Day, by comparison, is a somewhat low-key affair that I can consider a sleeping giant. Perhaps my true mission in life is to visit faraway countries and, like the Christain missionaries of the past, teach them about St. George and his impact on English history.
I cried beautiful tears on April 23 and I don’t care who knows it. People can make of me all they want, but I had the last laugh as I see no shame in celebrating the history of one’s country.
You can bet that next year will see the same festivities and outpouring of emotion. England could very well be reigning World Champions by then, making my celebration of St. George’s Day that much sweeter.
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