Pie and Mash and The Story of St George’s Day
The History behind St George’s Day
He’s the patron saint of England with his red cross taking pride of place on the English and British flag. But St George never actually stepped foot in England! He was in fact a Roman soldier and early Christian martyr who died in Palestine in 303 AD.
It wasn’t until much later that St George’s star really started to rise – when a vision of the saint appeared to 11th century English Crusaders fighting in Jerusalem, inspiring Richard the Lion Heart to bring his emblem back to England. By the 14th century English soldiers were wearing the St George’s cross on their chests and backs as he became the special protector of England.
On April 23rd 1415 St George’s Day was declared a national feast day and holiday in England and wearing a red rose became a traditional custom. St George’s Day then remained a national holiday for nearly three centuries, until after the union with Scotland.
St George and the dragon
The famous story about St George slaying a dragon and rescuing a fair maiden from death dates back well over a millennium. But it was during the Middle Ages that the story really took hold, with a dragon often being used to represent the Devil. The tale goes that a town was being terrorised by a dragon and the only way to pacify it was to offer up a princess as a sacrifice. St George, upon hearing the news, mounted his trusty steed and, sword in hand, rode into the town, effortlessly slaying the dragon and rescuing said fair damsel from distress (although he allegedly had a bit of help from an enchanted orange tree!).
St George’s Day today
St George’s Day is still commemorated on 23 April, but unlike St David’s Day in Wales or St Patrick’s Day in Ireland it often passes with few celebrations or special foods. In fact an estimated 1 in 5 of us don’t even know on which day St George’s Day is held!
So let’s hear it for St George this year! Make it a day dedicated to enjoying traditional English foods and celebrate in style with some delicious British favourites served up by Arment’s authentic Pie and Mash. Nothing shout’s “traditionally English” more than a steak and kidney pie or plate of jellied eels prepared Arment’s-style!