The legend seems to date from the C12, when crusaders returned from battle and historically he might have been a high ranking Roman Christian martyred in Palestine in AD 303. Edward III made him our patron saint in the mid 14C when he founded the Order of the Garter. Wiki describes it HERE.
For centuries the day was celebrated with feasting and jousting and mumming plays on the theme of St George and the Dragon . The traditions carry on in a few places.
Where the dragon story comes from is another mystery...........
This is something written by John Aubrey in the 1680's ( an English writer and philosopher)
"To save a mayd, St George the dragon slew,
A Pretty tale if all is told true,
Most say there are no dragons;
and this say'd there was no George;
Pray God there was a mayd."
G.K Chesterton wrote.......
St George he was for England,
And, before he killed the dragon
He drank a pint of English Ale
Out of an English flagon.
This is the traditional day for picking dandelions to make Dandelion Wine (but only if the sun is shining so the flowers are fully open)
Pick 2 quarts of flower heads, (about 1lb in weight) discarding as much of the green as possible.
Place in a food safe bucket or non metal bowl and then pour a gallon of boiling water over the flower heads and leave to steep for 2 days AND NO MORE. On the 3rd day pour everything into a big pan, add the peel of 4 oranges and boil for 10 minutes. Add 3lb of sugar and stir until dissolved. When cool add the prepared wine yeast and nutrient starter. Strain through muslin into a demi-john. Fit an air lock. Rack into bottles when clear and it should be ready to drink at Christmas.
There are certainly plenty of Dandelions about this year, I did make Dandelion wine once......never again!
Another of Cecily Mary Barker's Flower Fairy illustrations
And the poem that accompanies it.
You couldn't write a poem like that nowadays - how words have changed! I still love those illustrations as much as when I was a child when I would sit and look closely at them for maybe half an hour at a stretch - a long time for a littlie!ReplyDelete
but gay and naughty in the garden sounds such fun!Delete
Hello Sue, I used to celebrate St Georges Day in the latter years of working by wearing a red rose on 23rd April, even when a certain political party claimed the red rose as its emblem. I always wore an English pin badge too and it was amazing how many people asked what the badge was for, that is until there was a big sporting event when the English flag was everywhere.ReplyDelete
I've often wondered who decides what constitutes a weed. If it's because it spreads like wildfire then mint and grape hyacinth, to name just two, should also be called weeds. Just a thought!
I have a clump of bluebells that have spread like mad- almost weed-like but rather prettyDelete
I love all the snippets of information you bring! Happy Saint George's Day to you. When I get in from town, I might pick dandelions to make some wine, goodness only knows I have a crop and a half! Have a lovely day.ReplyDelete
I've got dandelions everywhere this year, brother in law was saying how deep he dug to get some out of his grass.Delete
Hi Sue - having a quick catch up in blogland after a mad Easter weekend. My brother used to make Dandelion wine back in the 60's when everyone was having a go at home brewing with the demijohns.ReplyDelete
Lovely illustration of the dandelion.
It didn't taste very wine-like is what I remember!Delete
It would not be pc to celebrate St Georges Day. Someone would say it was nationalistic and might offend a migrant.ReplyDelete
He actually was a migrant! I read it somewhere!ReplyDelete
I don't think he even got to EnglandDelete
The Guides and Scouts always use to parade for St.Georges day and I always wore a red skirt and white top when I was at work. My neighbor picks the dandelions every day for his tortoise.ReplyDelete
Hazel c uk
I was going to write about St Georges day parades and find the photo I've got somewhere from when I was a Cub Scout Leader but ran out of time over Easter weekend.......next year!Delete
I think if I were making dandelion wine I'd use all the other ingredients but miss out the dandelions 😄ReplyDelete
I think us English are very lax in not celebrating St George's Day, everyone else in the UK make an effort with their saints days ... even if it is usually just an excuse for an alcohol fuelled knees up!
Sounds a good plan! for both!Delete
My mum and I picked Dandelions for wine . . . once. Mum hadn't read the recipe properly and put the entire heads in rather than just the petals, and it turned out a stinkey slimey mass. Yuck! There are thousands out along the verges at the moment and the bees love them of course.ReplyDelete
I still have all the Flower Fairies books which I used to read to my daughters. Happy memories.
It's a pity St George's Day isn't celebrated more. Here in Wales we make much of St David.
Maybe if he was actually English?Delete
Whoops also meant to say I think that's why the recipes says only leave them to steep for 2 daysDelete
When I first moved in here the garden was full of dandelions. As I was still working very long hours I didn't have time to get to grips with garden so I used to just pull the heads off when I saw them to stop them setting seed. One weekend my new neighbour proudly presented me with about 4 carrier bags of dandelion heads which she had asked all the other neighbours to collect as she thought I was making dandelion wine!ReplyDelete
Oh dear, what did you do with them all?Delete
In Norway the scouts celebrate St. Georgs Day. When my sons were scouts there was a parade and a service in the church. I am not sure what he has to do with the scouts.ReplyDelete
St George is Patron saint of Scouts too, we also have St Georges day parades here too. I did lots when I was a Cub Scout Leader. I planned to find a photo I know I have but ran out of time.Delete
I wish we would celebrate St George's Day more. When my son & daughter were in the brownies/guides and beavers/cubs, they always took part in the St George's parade.ReplyDelete
I've never tasted dandelion wine, but I quite like a chilled nettle wine!
During my years as a Cub Scout Leader I did lots of St Georges day parades, loved parading through Stowmarket to the church - not so keen on the service if it went on too long!Delete
Apparently we share St George with Catalonia in Spain and on his special day all the boys are given books and the girls, flowers. I've never felt any affinity with St George, especially as now his day reminds me of a deceased piano pupil who was born on this day. There's also the legend from a feminist point of view where the dragon is seen as knowledge and St George is killing the dragon to prevent the maiden from gaining knowledge - which fits in with the misogynist Normans. I've recently discovered that England's original patron saint was St Edmund the Martyr, who was murdered by the Vikings with a hail of arrows. Given that the Normans removed all Anglo-Saxon saints from the calendar apart from two (St Alphege and St Wulfstan) and rededicated so many churches and holy wells with European and Middle Eastern saints which have absolutely no links with this land. I'd much rather celebrate St Edmund rather than St George.ReplyDelete
BBC Radio Suffolk had a campaign to bring back St Edmund, so now he is officially Patron St of Suffolk With all the connections to Suffolk it makes sense.Delete
I always wondered where St. George fit in. Thanks for all the information.ReplyDelete
stopped wine making when i pretty much gave up drinking , but dandelion was particularly vile , along with parsnip . Elderberry port however is amazing..lolReplyDelete