Sant Jordi

Sant Jordi, on April 23rd, is one of the most well-known Catalan festivities. On this day streets are filled with roses to celebrate love, and books to celebrate World Book Day. Don’t miss out on this beautiful spring festival!

According to the legend, a dragon threatened to attack the small village of Montblanc (Tarragona) unless he was presented with a young lady for him to eat. Each year there was a raffle, until one day the princess herself was the chosen one. When she was left in front of the dragon’s cave, Sant Jordi arrived on a white horse with his shiny armor and sword. After a fierce fight, Sant Jordi killed the dragon, and from the blood that dripped to the ground grew a rose bush. Sant Jordi gave the first red rose to the princess.

By coincidence, on the 23rd of April 1616 two great European writers passed away: Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. At the beginning of the XX century a writer suggested to name the 23rd of April “Book Day” to promote reading in Catalonia. In 1995 the UNESCO officially declared it World Book Day.

So, according to tradition, on this day men give roses to their loved one, and women give them a book. However, this is changing and adapting to modern times, so lately everyone is buying roses and books, not just for their partners, but also for their family, friends and even workmates.


Have you had the chance to walk along the Ramblas (Barcelona) on this day?

Let us know in the comments!


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*Imagen 1: por calafellvalo. Extraída de Flickr, con licencia Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
*Imagen 2: por Oriolx. Extraída de Wikipedia, con licencia Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

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