April 23 is the celebration of St. Georges day in England, so my church here is celebrating in kind. Knowing even less about English history and tradition than I do Italian, I asked the Reverend and his wife at bible study Tuesday night for the details.
St. George was a knight type of guy who was living in what is now considered Turkey and at some point in his life/career he saved a town in the area by slaying the dragon (I think the English folk have a great affection for dragons). Later on, Richard the Lion Hearted took a liking to George (after his death, obviously) and what he did and adopted his moniker flag (the red cross) as his own and therefore for England. And, so George became the patron saint of England. Thats it in a nutshell.
As for the celebration here, the church is sponsoring a dragon hunt! I am so sad that I cant attend (Mr. Peabody has a vet appointment in order to figure out what is wrong and hopefully get fixed before the flight). Apparently there are lots of dragons in Venice--who knew! I see the lions all the time because that is the symbol of St. Mark and therefore Venice, but I cant say that I have ever really noticed the dragons. The Reverends wife has assured me that she has personally counted 45 in her district alone!
So, you get an itinerary (short path or long path depending on how much time you want to play the game) and map and are sent off to find dragons. You come back in a few hours with your booty of locations written down, they are cross checked and you are given a certificate of authentication for the number you have found correctly! No prizes, no fanfare, just personal knowledge. And because I love to do silly things like that, I will have to participate later and on my own.
Here's to St. George!