Monday, 26 April 2010

St George's Day - To Celebrate or Not?

So do you think we should celebrate our Saint’s day? Personally I think we should. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I named my youngest son George, so now we always make an occasion of it, but on reflection I think why not? Why are we Englishers afraid of celebrating our history? Or perhaps we are just apathetic? I’m not sure, but with my husband’s family having Irish roots I’ve certainly learnt how you can celebrate something if you want to put your mind to it.
So how did we celebrate St George’s day - or should I say weekend?
We live not far from Beeston Castle- a medieval ruin which stands 500ft above the Cheshire plain. On a normal day it’s a great place to g - once you’ve puffed your way to the top - the views are out of this world.
This weekend my two little knights jousted all the way to the top where we then enjoyed a picnic. It was a beautiful sunny day but all that way up it was a little windy so after we’d eaten our fill and the boys had explored the ruins, we made our way back down to the bottom where we enjoyed the real entertainment.
A re-enactment group was in full force - brightly coloured tents were sent up and the wood fires were burning - they should have been roasting a hog - and it was just like something out of Merlin.
A juggler was entertaining the crowds - and boy was he funny, whilst entertaining the youngsters, he also threw in enough double entendres to keep the adults chuckling away. This was followed by an re-enactment of St George slaying the dragon and then a jousting tournament with the clashing of swords and the clanking of full armour. With the sun beating down on us it was really an afternoon to remember and afterwards the boys even got to try out the helmets for size and feel the weight of the swords - I don’t think they’ll forget that in a hurry.
Then on Sunday my eldest took part in the St George’s day parade with cubs. We all met at Chester Castle - not quite as impressive as the views from Beeston but just as steeped in history - and then the boys, and girls, marched through the city centre to the sound of the brass band. Do you what? Its great when the police actually stop the traffic for you and a brass band is always rather stirring.
But whilst we were following the parade a thought struck me. We’re really good at the pomp and ceremony, so why don’t wee do it more often?
In my opinion when we try we’re pretty good at blowing our own trumpet when we make the effort, so why don’t we do it more often? Celebrating what’s good about being English isn’t something we should be afraid of. And it shouldn’t mean that we don’t embrace other races or religions either. Just that this country does have a history and we should be proud of what is good about it.

What do you think?


  1. It sounds like you had a lovely St George's day! I like the sound of your two little knights jousting to the top of the hill. I do think it is sad when people of all backgrounds don't celebrate their heritage, or love the country they live in. Seems a shame to me.

  2. Hi Jayne

    We are lucky that we live in such a lovely place with so much space - do sometimes miss London though, especially after my recent visit.

    I agree, I think we should be proud of our heritage and by celebrating it shouldn't be accused of disrespecting other cultures.