England should make as big a fuss about St George's Day as Scotland does over Burns Night – Angus Robertson

A very happy St George’s Day to all my English friends, family and constituents in Edinburgh Central of whom there are many. I guess I should count myself included too as somebody who was born in London.
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I’ve always found it a fitting coincidence that the English Patron Saint is celebrated on April 23, the same day as William Shakespeare’s death. Having said that, I really don’t understand why more is not made of the joint day in England. Imagine for Scots at home and abroad if St Andrews Day and Burns Day were rolled into one. It would be huge.

Why are there not annual Shakespeare suppers and events in the same way as there are to celebrate Scotland’s national bard? It’s not as if there is any shortage of material for an Immortal Memory or Toast to England and potential readings or performances from a myriad of plays or poems from the world's pre-eminent dramatist.

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Shakespeare is rightly known as England's national poet, just as Robert Burns is Scotland’s national bard. With 39 plays, 154 sonnets, three long narrative poems, and a few other verses, there would be much to be enjoyed at a Shakespeare supper. St George’s Day would be a perfect day for such a celebration and it’s good to see that its potential is being recognised.

Morris folk dancers perform during Feast of St George celebrations in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, but more could be done (Picture: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)Morris folk dancers perform during Feast of St George celebrations in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, but more could be done (Picture: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Morris folk dancers perform during Feast of St George celebrations in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, but more could be done (Picture: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

The saints day is also marked in Ukraine, Ethiopia, and Georgia, as well as in Catalonia and Aragon in Spain. A belated very happy St George’s to all.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary