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Saints day marked in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 15:17 23 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:49 02 March 2010

FLAGS have been flying across the county today to commemorate St George's day – and the celebrations are set to continue well in to the weekend.

He may not be as celebrated as Ireland's St Patrick, but revellers across the country have united in a celebration of our very own dragon-slaying hero.

with separate panel on legend of St George>

FLAGS have been flying across the county today to commemorate St George's day - and the celebrations are set to continue well in to the weekend.

He may not be as celebrated as Ireland's St Patrick, but revellers across the country have united in a celebration of our very own dragon-slaying hero.

One Suffolk town which embraced today's festivities is Woodbridge.

Around 30 huge flags were flown around the town, some provided by individual businesses and 20 of them sponsored by the Woodbridge community council.

The British Legion also organised a whole day of whole day of celebrations, food and costumes in The Thoroughfare, and Ye Olde Bell and Steelyard pub has a team of morris dancers performing in its garden from 8pm.

Town centre co-ordinator, Marion Wells, said: "We decided to do something really special for St George's day because we want to celebrate our English traditions, and Woodbridge is a very fine example of an English market town. "The whole town has pulled together on this flag flying event."

Pubs all over the county will be holding special St George's day events over the weekend, with many offering the traditional English roast dinner.

While, on Sunday, cubs, scouts and members of the Boys Brigade will hold a St George's parade through the centre of Ipswich.

The boys will congregate at the Corn Hill at 1.30pm and work their way to the Bethesda Baptist church for 4pm.

THE REAL ST GEORGE: St. George was born in Cappadocia (now eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270.

At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and became renowned for his bravery.

Most experts think it's unlikely he ever came to England - but there is one scenario favoured by romantics to explain his link with this country.

The Emperor Diocletian gave him many important missions, and it is thought that on one of these he came to England.

It was while he was in England he heard the Emperor was putting all Christians to death and so he returned to Rome to help his brother Christians.

He pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. Diocletian did all he could to persuade St. George to give up his faith, but he refused and was finally beheaded on 23 April, 303.

Around 1000 years later, St. George became England's patron saint replacing Edward the Confessor.

In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day .

St George is patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy, plague and syphilis.

THE LEGEND OF ST GEORGE:

St. George journeyed for many months by land and sea until he came to Egypt, where he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country.

The dragon was demanding the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden everyday. The only remaining woman was the king's daughter.

The king vowed that the soldier who managed to slay the dragon would have his daughter's hand in marriage.

When St. George heard this story, he was determined to try and save the princess, so at daybreak he set out to the valley where the dragon lived.

After a long, hard battle he managed to defeat the dragon by piercing it under the wing where there were no scales. It fell dead at his feet.

The English are keener than ever to celebrate St George's Day according to a new survey published today.

When asked how they would most like to mark St. George's Day two great English institutions vied for top spot. 34 per cent of people could think of nothing nicer than sitting down to roast beef and Yorkshire pudding - a meal frequently voted England's national dish - while 35pc thought a visit to the local pub would be fitting.

Chef Brian Turner has been touring England in search of England's finest Roast Beef in time for St George's Day. He is judging the Grand Final today at Butchers' Hall, London.


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