The 23rd of April is Sant Jordi‘s day in Barcelona. Sant Jordi (Saint George), whom the legend depicts killing a dragon to save the princess, is the most important love festivity in Catalonia, over the cupid cherubs’ version on Valentine’s day. The tradition tells that each girl should get a rose, which must be as red as the dragon’s blood, the love present from her beau (her own Sant Jordi), and that she reciprocates with a book for him.
For many many young couples (and not that young as well) the tradition sounds a little outdated, because nowadays girls prefer books over flowers or, like in my case, both. Being spoiled during a love day does not sound that bad, does it? That’s why many girls actually get a book as well, or they buy one for themselves during that day seizing a 10% discount that, also traditionally, applies on all book purchases.
Although I should get Dani a book as a surprise present, we actually like to spend that afternoon looking through them together, commenting on which are our favorites and trying to discover which books are going to be on the best sellers’ lists the next day (that is always fun!). We always end buying like a couple of softcovers per each with the pretext that it is actually not too spendy because it is the same price as a regular hardcover one. Do you guys use this same excuse?
Las Ramblas are the heart of the celebration in Barcelona with thousands of stalls selling books and roses from the sea to its head on Plaça Catalunya. Those of you that have already been in Barcelona may visualize how crowded Las Ramblas can be, well, now add 100 times more people to get a proper idea of the Sant Jordi view and to beautify it also add each girl carrying a vibrant red rose. We like to step a foot on Las Ramblas to catch the atmosphere, but we can resist only around 30 minutes before we head to our favorite bookshops.
Have you heard of this festivity before? Do you celebrate a similar one? We’d love to hear it!
And with some roses and books we wish you a nice weekend full of reading! Off to read ours!
Red roses to make Sant Jordi proud. Phone pics only this day because we are not brave enough to carry the dslr with all the crowds, do you feel the same in those situations?
I like to see that future generations of girls will also reclaim their book.
You can see here another tradition, each rose brings a wheat spike and a catalan flag bow.
And here we have our books! :) Can you guess which two books are mine and which are Dani’s? Which one should I read first? Any recommendations? Happy Sant Jordi everyone, love (in its broader meaning) is the best thing to celebrate!