St George’s day

23rd April, the feast of St George and England’s national day (since 1415, according to the Telegraph). There wasn’t much fuss about it when I lived in England in the days of yore. It was one of the few occasions when you saw the now widespread English flag, St George’s Cross, on church towers but it didn’t make much of a ripple otherwise in the national consciousness (even less than Sweden’s “artificial respiration” national day, 6 June).

Checking the etymology of the word “feast”, it apparently originates from the Latin “festus” (joyful); in the middle ages, an occasion when at least some of the population got plenty to eat. From this time “feast” has become heavily loaded with gastronomic associations. However, the original meaning is still there in the language (and present in “festivity, “festival”, and “festive occasion). “Feast day” could come in handy for a translator.

Always a friend of alternative dialogues, I shall wear a black armband today to symbolise my solidarity with the dragon, who has had a tough time in the media (superman St George and the rescued passive virginal type being only of interest to the driven hunter of patriarchal structures….).

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