Easter Saturday: Not St George's Day

St George slaying the dragon, by Gustave MoreauAs I wrote at the time, St Patrick’s Day was moved from 17th March 2008 because Easter was so early that year. This year, because Easter is so late, it is St George’s Day which has fallen foul of the rule that Holy Week takes precedence over regular saints’ days. So, as 23rd April falls this year on Easter Saturday, we English are not supposed to celebrate our national, if perhaps mythical, saint on his regular day.

The Church Times confirms that the Church of England, and not just the Roman Catholic Church, is officially observing this rule – while also noting that most people are ignoring the date change. Apparently St George’s Day has officially been postponed to Monday 2nd May.

This seems an odd choice of date except that it is a bank holiday, here in the UK. If this was the reason for changing to 2nd May, perhaps a better choice would have been Friday 29th April, to coincide with the royal wedding day, also a bank holiday. That way we English would only need to break out the bunting and patriotic flags once.

Thanks to Archdruid Eileen for the tip. This is apparently not one of the Easter myths that she is debunking.

0 thoughts on “Easter Saturday: Not St George's Day

  1. Well, Dave, if “Easter Saturday is the Saturday after Easter” then it still isn’t St George’s Day. But hardly anyone would understand my post title if I wrote “Holy Saturday”.

  2. Could anyone tell me please, when did St George’s day last fall on Easter Saturday? (or Holy Saturday), as my daughter has asked me (because our Wedding anniversary is 23rd April) and wanted to know if it had ever fallen on Easter weekend before and I couldn’t remember if it had to answer her (today is our 22nd wedding anniversary).
    Thanking you in advance.

    Stephen and Joanne Sellars

  3. Thanks, Stephen and Joanne, and happy anniversary! See my post on the date of Easter. Easter Saturday certainly has fallen this late before, but not recently. I checked back only to my year of birth, 1955, to justify my statement “this may be the latest Easter in my lifetime”. Easter Sunday may have fallen on 23rd more recently. There are online lists of past Easter dates if you want to check further.

  4. In reply to Stephen, I don’t know when Holy Saturday last fell on the 23rd but I do know this it is the first time that it has happened since you were married and will not happen again until 2095. St George’s day will not have to move again for a while, it will fall on Good Friday in 2038 and on Easter Monday in 2057 and 2068.
    To Peter, Easter Sunday was on the 25th in 1943, and yes this year is the Latest since then.

  5. No, it’s only Easter Saturday for Christians. It is not Easter Saturday for Pagans, atheists, agnostics and n amount of other people. You are a minority. Leave St George’s Day alone!

  6. Anne, thanks for the info.

    Kathleen, St George was a Christian saint and his day was set by the Christian church, so the Christian church has the right to vary that day as it wishes. You can of course celebrate what you like, but don’t claim you are celebrating a Christian saint.

  7. Thank you for the kind wishes and info, Peter and Anne (we’ll look forward to the next time our anniversary falls on Holy Saturday in 2095! 🙂 )

    Happy Easter and God Bless

    Stephen and Joanne Sellars

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