The Google Doodle, known for celebrating historic events, cultural milestones and the lives and achievements of iconic people throughout history with a unique take on the tech giant’s logo, today honours St George’s Day.
The day marks an important day for many countries around the world, not just England.
This is everything you need to know about St George, who he was, why he is celebrated - and how the Google Doodle is remembering him.
What is today’s Google Doodle?
Today, Thursday 23 April 2020, the Google Doodle celebrates St George.
The logo is represented by a horse, a knight sitting by a fireplace, toasting bread on his sword and a dragon.
If you click on the Google Doodle, you’ll be taken to a Google search page with lots of information about St George.
This is everything you need to know about who he is and why the anniversary of his death is celebrated around the world.
Who was St George?
St George was born sometime around the year 280 in the country we now call Turkey.
He was a soldier who rose up through the ranks in the Roman army and eventually became a personal guard to the Emperor Dicoletian.
St George is best known for slaying a dragon. According to myth, a dragon guarded the only well in the town of Silene, and whenever residents needed water, they had to offer a human sacrifice to the dragon.
On the day that St George was visiting Silene, it was a princess who had been chosen to be sacrificed to the dragon. It was on that day that St George slayed the dragon, saved the princess and granted the people of Silene free access to the water well.
Legend has it that the people of Silene were so grateful to St George that they converted to Christianity.
It is believed that St George was ultimately executed for refusing to make a sacrifice in the honour of the pagan gods, therefore becoming a Christian martyr, during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian.
His tomb was found in the Christian pilgrimage site of Lod.
How do people celebrate St George’s Day?
People around the world celebrate St George’s Day on 23 April, the anniversary of his death.
Flags bearing the St George’s cross (a large red cross on a white background) are traditionally flown from houses and buildings, with some people also displaying the flag on a badge or patch.
St George’s Day parades and medieval-themed events are common across England, with many pubs usually holding celebratory promotions.
The Church of England rules that no saints’ day should be celebrated between Palm Sunday and the Sunday after Easter, so if the 23 April happens to fall during this time, the day of celebrations is deferred until after this period of time has closed.
What other countries celebrate St George?
St George is known as an international saint, and many countries across the globe celebrate him every year.
Venice, Genoa, Portugal, Ethiopia, Catalonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Russia and more also claim St George as a patron saint.