Merry Georgemas!

April 23. St. George's Day. You know, St. George the Dragon Slayer? Patron Saint of England? Although, when I look him up, I find that he is originally a Roman soldier in the guard of Diocletian. And isn't a Roman soldier named George something straight out of Monty Python? Which is probably why England celebrated Georgemas 2007 with this.

In England, Georgemas is also Shakespeare Day. Will was born and would eventually die on April 23. 1564-1616.

In his play Henry V, William Shakespeare invokes the Saint at Harfleur prior to the battle of Agincourt (1415):

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

Apparently, St. George's Day on the Eastern Orthodox Calendar is May 6th, a fact further immortalized in Bram Stoker's Dracula (Signet Classics) :

Do you know what day it is?" I answered that it was the fourth of May. She shook her head as she said again: "Oh, yes! I know that, I know that! but do you know what day it is?" On my saying that I did not understand, she went on: "It is the eve of St. George's Day. Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway?

Who knew?

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