I-Rish We Remembered George

Sam Cook By Sam Cook, 10th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

With Saint Patrick's Day coming up this article talks about how so many of us celebrate the day, but also why so many ignore other Patron Saints and their holidays. i.e. St. George.

Only 7 Days until the Craze

With St. Patrick’s Day only a week away I’m sure many of you are organising parties, nights out, bar crawls or some other event which involves drinking far too much alcohol. I’m no exception, and I admit that on the day of Ireland’s Patron Saint I will no doubt be making a fool of myself in one of London’s many pubs. And why not. It’s good fun, an excuse to drink excessively and everyone joins in. For as long as I can remember, St. Paddy’s day equals party. It was only recently, however, that I actually asked myself “why?” Why do I celebrate an Irish holiday with such enthusiasm? I’m no more Irish than I am bald eagle. I’m English, 100%. That’s not some dramatic patriotic statement, it’s just a fact. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people shouldn’t celebrate St Patrick’s day if they’re not Irish, not at all. I just think that the effort English people put into commemorating this holiday is sad, not because it’s an Irish holiday, but because England has its own patron saint...and nobody seems to care. So why don’t the English show the same gusto for Saint George?

Why don't we love George?

I tried to think of what I did on Saint George’s Day last year and my mind was blank. Yet when I thought back to what I did for St. Patrick’s last year my mind was only blank after about 7 O’clock. Before that hour I remember the pubs, the clubs and the Guinness (Yes that foul tasting soup of a stout that for some reason I force down once a year, on the 17th March). As a matter of fact –and I hate to admit this – I had to check the date of St. George’s day. Apparently it’s on the 23rd of April...so keep that date open. So again I ask myself the question why is it not as big a deal as an Irish holiday? I mean the man slayed a dragon. Surely that deserves at least a few pints at the pub.

Why DO we love Paddy?

I started thinking about Ireland and the whole Irish stereotype. There’s no denying that the country has got a name for itself as a drinkers nation. The Irish are known to booze and maybe this is why St. Paddy’s day is so popular. Maybe people see this Irish holiday and think of it as an excuse to drink themselves silly –falling back on the excuse that they were partying “like an Irishman.” And we all know that the English will find any excuse to binge drink. But then why not celebrate St. George’s Day equally? It’s an excuse, right?

George deserves a pint.

The Saint George’s cross is the flag of England for a reason - rumour has it he was quite a guy. A military hero and devoted Christian, Georgey-boy was executed because he refused to deny his faith and worship the Roman God’s. Plus he slayed a dragon. Still think he doesn’t deserve a good old drunken night out in his honour?
The thing is, who honestly looks at the English flag today and thinks of St. George? Unfortunately the iconic emblem has been high jacked and is used today as a symbol for the extremist right-wing political party, the BNP. I don’t know about you, but whenever I see the red cross flapping from a car window or hanging out of a bedroom I don’t think of patriotism but instead I imagine that the owner is a nationalist racist. I know, it’s terrible. But unless there’s an important international sports tournament happening that’s what my mind automatically assumes. We need to reclaim our flag and be able to fly it proud on the 23rd April, preferably whilst sipping a cold pint.

It used to be HUGE!

After looking into both holidays, something interesting came up regarding St George’s day. Apparently this day was major holiday in the 15th Century, and was on par with Christmas. So what happened? The holiday seemed to have lost importance after the union England and Scotland (forming of “Great Britain”) in 1707. Still, I’m not sure why this mattered to poor old George and his day of remembrance. Perhaps celebrating the patron saint of a country who treated them so cruelly didn’t sit well with the Scots. Perhaps the English got distracted with the idea of Saint Andrew (Patron St. Of Scotland)...To be honest I don’t know. But the good old days need to make a comeback.

Making St. George's Day a night we'll definitely forget.

So reader I urge you, wherever you’re from, please spare a thought and have a drink for George on the 23rd April. By all means go nuts next Thursday, I know I will, but just make sure you have enough steam left to celebrate St George’s Day the following month. Help me in my campaign to bring the holiday back to its former Glory. 10 years from now I hope you all struggle to remember the last St George’s day, but for all the right reasons.

Tags

17Th March, 23Rd April, Alcohol, Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholic Beverage, Alcoholic Beverages, Bank Holidays, Bar, Bars, Booze, Drink, Drinking, Drinks, England, Guinness, Holiday, Holidays, Ireland, Irish, Lager, Legend, Legends, National Holidays, Party, Patron Saint, Pint, Pub, Pubs, Saint Georges Day, Saint Paddy, Saint Paddys, Saint Patrick, Saint Patricks Day, Saints, St George, St Patricks Day

Meet the author

author avatar Sam Cook
I am 20 year old student from Wakefield and currently study Creative Writing in West London. I have always had a passion for artistic writing, and hope to find a career in it in the the future.

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Comments

author avatar Rathnashikamani
12th Mar 2011 (#)

Sam,
You've given a tribute to Saint George by this article.
VEry well done.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sam Cook
12th Mar 2011 (#)

Thankyou again.
Hope you'll do like me and celebrate the 23rd April.
Also just read some of your poems. You're very talented!

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author avatar Smithy10
16th Mar 2011 (#)

OMG I always think this! It makes no sense! We need to make a stand and make Saint George's day as much a 'thing' as Patrick's.
Well written Sam.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sam Cook
16th Mar 2011 (#)

Thanks Smithy10, I'm glad you agree and you're right it doesn't make sense. Especially in England. Hope you enjoy my articles in the future.

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