While living in London taking part of cultural festivals is highly recommended to get a real feel for the city and its people.  A great family-friendly festival is the celebration of St. George’s Day in Trafalgar Square.  St. George, the patron saint of England, has been celebrated since at least Norman Times and is an icon for the British people.  This St. George’s Day while living in London bring the whole family out to participate in this truly British event.

History of St. George

Not much is known historically about the real St. George. What is known is that he did exist and was a Roman soldier who lived some time around 250 – 280 AD.  The legend of St. George is much more interesting.  As the legend goes George was a Christian soldier who battled a particularly nasty dragon who was terrorizing England’s countryside.  He killed the dragon before it could kill a beautiful princess and as he was killing him made the sign of the cross across his chest.  England was so grateful to George that they converted to Christianity and have honored him ever since.

The Customs

St. George’s Day is still celebrated wide and far in England. It is customary for those living in London to see the St. George flag hanging and garlands and St. George crosses strung in the streets and in the pubs. It is a festival and holiday meaning there are many parties and dinners in celebration of England’s patron saint.  The St. George Pageant in Salisbury dates all the way back to the thirteenth century! Christian churches in and around London also celebrate the day.

St. George’s Day 2012

This year St. George’s Day will be celebrated on, Saturday, April 21st. With the mayor of London one of the biggest proponents of the celebrations events taking place at Trafalgar Square should be bigger and better than ever before.  Events will have a horticultural theme and the square transformed into a garden oasis.  There will be traditional English music played live, activities for children and gardening and horticultural exhibits for adults.

Whether you make it to the celebrations at Trafalgar Square for St. George’s Day or stick closer to home and visit the neighborhood pub you must enjoy this truly British festival while living in London.  With so much to do during your stay in England taking advantage of local traditions and cultural events add meaning to your time living in London.