21st April 2020 by

23 April St George’s Day

St George’s Day is celebrated on 23 April by various Christian churches and by several nations, kingdoms, countries and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint, including England and regions of Spain and Portugal in particular.

From the early 15th century St. George’s Day was a major feast and national holiday in England on a par with Christmas.

On 23 April, Aragon celebrates its “Día de Aragón” (Day of Aragon) in commemoration of the Battle of Alcoraz in which Huesca was conquered by the Aragonese army and in which tradition says that St George appeared at a critical moment for the Christian Army.

In Catalonia, la Diada de Sant Jordi is celebrated involving traditions similar to those of the Anglo-Saxon Valentine’s Day.

During the reign of King John I (1357–1433), St George became the patron saint of Portugal and the King ordered that the saint’s image on the horse be carried in the Corpus Christi  procession.

In Bavaria, Georgiritt (George’s Ride) takes place around St George’s Day, especially around churches dedicated to the saint. Brightly decorated horses and wagons parade several times around the church, in which a service is then held at which the riders and horses are blessed.

The play Andorra (1961) by Max Frisch focusses greatly on the (fictionalised) Andorran celebrations of St. George’s Day. The play begins and ends with references to a ceremonial whitewashing of houses by the town’s virgins, reflecting the day’s central theme of purity.

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