St George’s Day in England. When we celebrate a saint who had little to with this country in a hail of medieval chivalry. And we love it!
How a fourth century AD Roman soldier who was martyred by the emperor Diocletian came to be the patron saint of England is a long story. And I’ve touched on it in other blog posts. Today, our local community here in south London celebrated St George’s Day with some battle re-enactment.
It was France (booo!!!) versus England (hurrah!!!). Lots of good fun and a surprise – France was allowed to win! I snapped some of the action on my iPhone.
St George’s Day battle
There was a very menacing knight pacing around in dark attire and growling at the crowd. Meanwhile, a knight in St George’s colours took a pounding from the bad guy. Though every so often he was able to sneak a break and get some solace from a fair maiden nearby.
There was no grog or mead to drink – but tins of lager from a nearby pub. A shame the prices were more 21st century than medieval. But like our ancestors in England, we got tipsy while watching braver men take sword swipes at each other and clash shields.
Think about battling Templars on St George’s Day
I’m always amazed at how anybody – role players today and real crusaders in the past – could endure being encased in metal while the sun beats down. How the Knights Templar could fight in the Holy Land in such conditions is a mystery. Imagine the forced marches and hours of military slog in layers of padding and chain mail.