St. George’s Day Bank Holiday (or the Lack Thereof)

A while ago I signed a petition (along with 13,786 other people) on petitions.number10.gov.uk to:

Make St Georges Day a national bank holiday for all of England if not the UK

We would like to see St George celebrated as our patron Saint as the Irish do St Patrick.

This seems quite apt, what with today being St. Guinness day and all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of rabid loyalist that paints himself red and white when the football is on and beats on minority groups (whose families have lived on the sceptic isle for four or more generations).

I do think that the England has lost its national identity however.

Furthermore, I feel more could be done to commemorate our patron Saint. Saints can be powerful symbols, there are a few non-Christian religions that have adopted Saints as fronts to hide their own deities behind.

Tonight we’ll see pubs full of fair-weather stout fans downing the black stuff in memory of the Catholic Church’s favourite snake charmer. Paddy kicked a few serpents out of Ireland, Gorgeous George lanced himself a whole Dragon (and all the symbolism that comes with it – poor dragon).

St. George is patron Saint of many countries and cities; reading up on his worship I find that worship of St. George is almost multi-faith in its esoteric coverage. One site even states:

The capacity of St. George to cross religious boundaries is seen in an Eastern Orthodox shrine for St. George at Beith Jala, which Moslems use in the belief it is the home of the legendary Saint of fertility known as Khidr, Arabic for green, as well as Jews attending the site in the belief that the prophet Elijah was buried there.

If St. George can unite the Ibrahimic faiths present in England then surely that can only be a good thing.

Sadly, yesterday the government responded to the petition; the response was marginally positive but only insofar as there appears to be a commitment to some form of new bank holiday.

Your suggestion of a Bank Holiday to celebrate St George’s Day on 23 April has been one of the popular suggestions we have received. However, there are other very popular suggestions, including one for a new ‘British Day’ after Remembrance Sunday to celebrate the contribution of our Armed Forces.

So once again we see a non-committal response to one of Number 10’s e-petitions. Still, you never know, maybe we’ll get an extra bank holiday one day. And not just the one in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

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One thought on “St. George’s Day Bank Holiday (or the Lack Thereof)

  1. There was talk a few years back of having a Trafalgar Day holiday to better balance the country’s shortfall of bank holidays when compared to the EU. Sadly they decided people didn’t really want a cold day off in late October…

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