Only around one in five English adults (19%) plan to celebrate St George’s Day this year, a survey by English Heritage has revealed. The organisation is encouraging people to get out and about this weekend to celebrate England’s patron saint with events across the country, at sites such as Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, with anyone named George invited to claim free admission.
St George’s Day takes place on 23 April, but the survey of nearly 2,000 adults found that many had no plans to mark the day. In fact, 7% of those surveyed in England thought that St George’s Day was celebrated on the 1 May, while only 6% could correctly identify the reason for his fame, being martyred for refusing to persecute Christians.
Events are taking place at properties across the country, including Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, which hosts one of England’s largest St George’s Day festivals, Dover Castle in Kent, and Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire. The most well-known fact about our patron saint was identified as the popular myth of him slaying the dragon (56%), and visitors at many of the English Heritage events will still be able to enjoy this spectacle, along with living history, spectacular displays and family activities.
Lucy Hutchings, Head of Events at English Heritage, said, “The fact that only one in five people are planning to mark St George’s Day this year contrasts with the patriotism shown by other countries on their patron saints days. This is a great opportunity to celebrate England and its rich history, and we’d like to invite people to come along and show your support for our patron saint this year.
“There are events taking place across the country, packed with family activities and stories of St George from Roman times and the Middle Ages. 2014 also marks 300 years since the Georgians came to the throne, and with the recent birth of Prince George, there’s never been a better time to celebrate this famous name!”
English Heritage St George’s Day events take place on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 April 2014. Anyone with the forename of George or Georgina can attend for free with proof of identification. Further information can be found at www.english-heritage.org.uk/stgeorgesday