Today Isn’t St George’s Day – That’s Next Week, You English

That none of us actually care about this is all the proof needed that the English don’t worry overmuch about our national day. There’s good reason for it too:

To all the politicians dutifully wishing the nation a happy St George’s Day — you’ve got the date wrong. The Church of England has confirmed that the feast has been pushed back to next Monday because of a clash with Easter week. April 23 is the usual date each year for the feast of St George, the patron saint of England, but church rules state that no feast days should be marked during Easter week. If a saint’s day falls during Easter week, it is “translated” to the following week. Matthew Salisbury, the Church of England’s national liturgy and worship adviser, said: “St George’s Day is translated to April 29 as nothing other than a principal feast would take place during Easter week.” Common Worship, the church’s volumes of guidance for services, notes: “When St George’s Day or St Mark’s Day falls between Palm Sunday and the second Sunday of Easter inclusive it is transferred to the Monday after the second Sunday of Easter.”

We just don’t go all out on our saint’s day as so many lesser nations do. We don’t get the world drunk, as Paddy’s does, we don’t declaim bad poetry over worse haggis, as the Scots, sing for St David, finger the flag a la colonials nor torture a donkey as the Iberians and so on. Such leaping of nationalism is regarded as something not needed. After all, we know God is an Englishman and so what need to bang the drum again?

Consider, or a moment – what have any of us done differently because today is that 23 April? And what will be done differently next Monday to any other? Quite. There’s no need to have the Jingo if one is already obviously top dog, is there?

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