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St George’s Day 2019 - when is it and what’s happening in Manchester?

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 11/04/2019 Simon Coyle
a group of people wearing costumes: VIDEO - DS1_STGEORGES_PARADE1 - 6

St Georges Day Parade, Varley Street, Miles Platting Manchester

24 April  2016

Pic Dominic Salter © Manchester Evening News VIDEO - DS1_STGEORGES_PARADE1 - 6 St Georges Day Parade, Varley Street, Miles Platting Manchester 24 April 2016 Pic Dominic Salter

You might not have touched your England shirt since our crushing performance in the World Cup last summer.

But dust it off and get ready to wear it with pride again, as St George’s Day is just around the corner.

St George’s Day is commonly known as a cultural day where we celebrate all things English.

There’s a lot more to the history of the day and how Saint George is linked to our nation, though.

We put together a quick guide for you to brush up on your history of the day and find out how you can celebrate St George’s Day here in Manchester.

What is St George’s Day?

Saint George is thought to have been born in Palestine in the 3rd Century AD to Christian parents.

He is most commonly known as the patron saint of England - although we share him with a number of other nations, including Catalonia and Aragon.

A soldier in the Roman Army, he quickly rose up the ranks, but was tortured because he refused to give up his Christian faith.

He was executed in 303 AD for refusing to stop being a Christian when asked by the Emperor Diocletian, who had begun a campaign against Christians.

St George © Hans Süß von Kulmbach/ Wiki Commons St George

In 1415, St George’s Day became a national feast day and holiday in England.

His heroic story became popular a little later, when it was published in a book called The Golden Legend.

It tells how Saint George slayed a dragon and saved a maiden in distress - however, many believe this to be a myth (after all, you don’t see many dragons in England).

Roses became a symbol of Saint George because a beautiful bloom is thought to have grown on his grave, and historically, people would wear a rose on their chests to celebrate the day.

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When is St George’s Day?

St George’s Day is celebrated on 23 April every year - the day of his execution. This year, it falls on a Tuesday.

Unlike St Andrew’s Day in Scotland and St Patrick’s Day in Ireland, it is not a bank holiday.

This means that when it falls on a weekday, many celebrations are held on the nearest weekend instead.

Many people have called for St George’s Day to become a national bank holiday, including Jeremy Corbyn, who last year announced that the nation would receive an extra day off for the saints’ day if Labour won the next election.

What’s happening in Manchester on St George’s Day?

A parade will take place in Manchester © Manchester Evening News A parade will take place in Manchester

The largest celebration of the feast day in Manchester is the city’s annual St George’s Day parade.

Now in its 16th year, the parade sees marchers dressed in colourful costumes alongside horse-drawn carriages, brass bands - and a convoy of scooters bringing up the rear.

The parade’s carnival atmosphere attracts thousands of spectators, who wave the St George’s flag as it passes the 2.5 mile route through the city centre.

Along the route there will also be street performances from theatre groups, musicians and comedians.

This year the parade will be held on Monday, 22 April.

It will begin at 2pm and last for approximately two hours.

Where can you watch the St George’s Day parade in Manchester?

a man wearing a costume: A parade will be held on Monday, 22 April © Manchester Evening News A parade will be held on Monday, 22 April

The parade will depart from Miles Platting and travel through Manchester city centre, before returning to the starting point.

Starting at Varley Street in Miles Platting, it will turn left onto Oldham Road before proceeding south. It will then turn right onto Oldham Street and onto Piccadilly Gardens.

On its way back to Miles Platting, the parade will travel up Newton Street before turning left onto Hilton Street, then right onto Lever Street. It will then meet Great Ancoats Street leading onto Oldham Road before making its way back to the starting point.

Transport for Greater Manchester says that roads in the city centre are expected to be closed between 11:30am and 2:30pm for the parade

Find out more about which roads will be closed and how transport will be affected on the day here

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