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The Stations of the SunA History of the Ritual Year in Britain$
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Ronald Hutton

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205708

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205708.001.0001

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England and St George

England and St George

Chapter:
(p.214) 21 England and St George
Source:
The Stations of the Sun
Author(s):

Ronald Hutton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205708.003.0021

The vagaries of the Easter cycle meant that Hocktide could be followed by a fortnight of lull in celebration, or might itself by preceded by the first calendar festival to be widely celebrated in late medieval England after St Valentine's. This was the feast of the military St George upon April 23. His cult burgeoned in western Europe in the wake of the Crusades, and his festival day was officially established in England in 1222. St George proved a considerable success, being a glamorous figure, perfect for a society imbued with chivalric ideals and associated with one of hagiography's most dramatic legends. In particular, he was taken as dedicatee by a large number of the religious guilds that were founded in late fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England, and these in turn often provided the ‘ridings’ on his day, which were to be some of the most colourful rites of the early Tudor period.

Keywords:   Easter, Hocktide, England, St Valentine, feast, St George, Europe, Crusades, hagiography, Tudor

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