LANDOWNERS and rural businesses campaigning to restore St George’s Day as a major celebration of Englishness are asking people to start planning now for events on April 23 – which also happens to be William Shakespeare’s birthday.
However, unlike the Bard’s immortal exhortation “Once more into the breach, dear friends,” the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is recommending a much more peaceful celebration: sitting down to a good meal of good English food with friends.
The CLA points out that St George is revered in many countries as the patron saint of farm workers, a fact almost unknown in this country. So the saint’s day here should be a particular celebration in rural areas, with country restaurants, pubs and food suppliers ready to make it a special day.
Says Douglas Chalmers, Director CLA North: “Everyone associates St Patrick’s Day with parades, St David’s Day with the wearing of daffodils and St Andrew’s Day with ceilidhs, but how to celebrate St George’s Day just draws blank looks.
“The CLA’s Great English Breakfast is now in its seventh year and simply involves getting people together to celebrate with good English food and good company in a relaxed but suitably patriotic setting.
“Everyone should think about how they are going to celebrate England’s National Day, and I believe that it is the perfect opportunity to get some friends together and enjoy our local food – whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner.
“There is no need to dress up or turn up on a white charger – it’s the food and the company that is important - although a few words from Shakespeare might be appropriate as 23 April is also the Bard’s birthday.”