If you’re an American who doesn’t know what St. George’s Day is, think: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. You know—one of those “non-holiday holidays.” While out and about, the English will hear the occasional “Happy St. George’s Day!” In pubs, lads (if they’re aware of the day at all) may buy another round of ale, toasting the day. BBC will dedicate some programming to it. But really, not much else happens.
St. George, the patron saint of England (and numerous other countries), was born in Turkey, became a Roman soldier, killed a dragon (Editorial comment: Suuure he did), saved a princess, and later got beheaded for refusing to denounce Christianity. Thus his status as "Christian martyr" and propensity for being snatched up as a patron saint.
The English used to celebrate St. George’s Day. In the 1500s through 1800s, it was a big deal, but the Edwardians got bored with it. Currently, there is a fledgling movement to start celebrating the day again and to even legally declare it a public holiday. We’ll just have to bite our nails as we wait with anticipation.
Meanwhile…Have a happy St. George’s Day’s!