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Saint George by Raphael

Sant Jordi

 

Sant Jordi’s Day (Saint George in Catalan) is much more than a simple feast day in Barcelona. It is the Catalan equivalent to Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air! Each year the streets are filled with roses and books, all in the colors of the Catalan flag (red and yellow). Is a magical day to walk in the Old Quarter, and even more if you have your loved ones with you!

Why books and roses?

April 23rd is also #WorldBookDay. Sant Jordi’s tradition says that women should be given a rose, and men should be given a book. Of course, best would be to surprise your loved ones with both rose and book!

The tradition

“Once upon a time, a terrible dragon terrorized the inhabitants of a small village in Catalonia called Montblanc. The dragon wrecked havoc among the population and devoured the animals put out to pasture until there were none left. To calm the dragon’s anger, the inhabitants of the village decided to sacrifice one person every day, chosen by drawing lots, and to offer that person to the dragon as a sign of their good will. “However, one, dark day, the person chosen to be sacrificed was the king’s daughter. Just when she was about to be swallowed up by the dragon, a courageous knight appeared and confronted the evil beast. This was Saint George (Sant Jordi in Catalan). He thrust his lance into the dragon and, out of the blood that spurted forth, there grew a red rose bush. Since then, it has been the custom in Catalonia to present a rose to your loved one. Saint George, the patron saint of Catalonia, as well as England and other countries, became the symbol of Catalonia during the Renaixença, a nineteenth-century political and cultural movement that sought to reclaim the symbols of Catalan identity.” – text from Barcelona Sant Jordi.

 

 

 

Our guests exploring Sant Jordi’s Day 2015. Shot by Andrew Malcom! 🙂

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