Tuesday, 23 April 2013

St. George's Day

Today, in the UK, it is St.George's Day.  Although you would hardly know it as we tend to ignore it.  And yet St. George is the Patron Saint of England.  However, he is celebrated in several countries around the world.

From St George's Day website
Facts of St George’s life have passed through the centuries growing in legend and myth. However, he must have been some character in his lifetime for his reputation to have survived for almost 1,700 years!

There are many accounts giving what are believed to be the facts outlining the life of England’s Patron Saint. Below are the widely accepted ‘facts’ of St George’s life.
  • St George was born to Christian parents in A.D. 270 (3rd Century) in Cappadocia, now Eastern Turkey
  • He moved to Palestine with his Mother and became a Roman soldier, rising to the high rank of Tribunus Militum
  • However, he later resigned his military post and protested against his pagan leader, the Emperor Diocletian (245-313 AD), who led Rome’s persecution of Christians
  • His rebellion against the Emperor resulted in his imprisonment, but even after torture he stayed true to his faith
  • The enraged Diocletian had St George dragged through the streets of Nicomedia, Turkey, on the 23rd of April 303 AD and had him beheaded
  • The Emperor’s wife was so inspired by St George’s bravery and loyalty to his religion, that she too became a Christian and was subsequently executed for her faith
You can also find out about him on these pages:

St. George

The Dragon

From the BBC

William Shakespeare, England's greatest dramatist, is believed to have been born on April 23rd in 1564 and died on April 23rd 1616.

This day is celebrated in Stratford upon Avon every year on the nearest weekend to April 23rd.

If you visit Stratford you can see various buildings belonging now to the Shakespeare Trust.   These include his wife's home, Anne Hathaway's Cottage.

And the house where he was born.

You can find out all about his plays and other works by googling his name.  There are so many sites I couldn't decide which ones to direct you to.

Art Challenge
There's lots of information on this page.  You could choose to be inspired by St. George or Shakespeare or both.

Maybe you could come up with your own dragon!

Or is there a Shakespeare play or poem that you know and inspires you.  Can you find a quote that you could use?  I use this Quote site a great deal.

If you are really stuck, I'll choose a quote for you.  My parents used to live at the top of a small hill just outside Stratford upon Avon and at the bottom of the garden there was a footpath that led to Anne Hathaway's Cottage.  Another name for a small hill is bank.  And all the flowers mentioned grew in the garden so my mother was convinced that her garden was the bank where Titania slept!

"I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight"

Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare (Act 2 Scene 1)