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The Red Rose of St George


It's St George's Day, so here's a brief look at the history of his favourite flower.

As we mentioned in a previous CF blog -- have a look here -- the reason why the red rose is known as the flower of England is far from clear. Indeed, when the RFU made the rose into the emblem of the English rugby team, it was probably because of a silly mistake. 

Even today, the meaning of the red rose is changing -- while it used to be traditional for English people to wear a red rose in their lapel on St George's day as a simple mark of celebration, today various political parties have attempted to hijack this gesture.

One particularly lovely rose-related St George's Day fact is that St George's Day is also celebrated in Catalonia -- where the day is known as La Diada de Sant Jordi, and it is traditional to give a rose and a book to a loved one. Flowers and books! What better celebration could you ask for?

So if you're in the mood, why don't you reclaim this ancient meaning of St George's Day today? Forget the politics, forget even the association of George with England -- for after all, St George's Day is celebrated by many other cultures, too: from Portugal to Croatia, Macedonia to Canada. And simply take this excuse to give a book and a beautiful red rose to someone you love.

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