Sant Jordi 2015 – All You Read is Rose

If you are in Barcelona this week, surely you are wondering about all of the book stands and roses for sale… and maybe you have seen a few dragons on display! Today, April 23rd, this holiday known as Sant Jordi is celebrated here in Catalonia. Street markets are full of roses and books. Traditionally, a rose is given to the woman and a book to the man, representing love, knowledge and culture.

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It is said that Sant Jordi has been celebrated here in Catalonia since the 15th century with records of the celebration as early as the year 1343 in Valencia! In fact, there is evidence that proves the worship of Sant Jordi in churches and cathedrals that dates back to the 8th century! The more popular legend speaks of Sant Jordi (Saint George) as a hero or the protector of lovers. In the countryside of Silene lived a horrible dragon who poisoned the air of a small village. In order to please the dragon, villagers would sacrifice a lamb and a virgin. Unfortunately, the princess of the town was chosen as the sacrifice and Sant Jordi took it upon himself go to her rescue and free her. The most common depiction of Sant Jordi still to this day is of himself with his lance on a white horse.

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April 23rd has also been declared by UNESCO as World Book and Copyright Day. In addition, in 1926, this date was marked the official anniversary of the death of famous Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quijote. Keep an eye out as you explore the city, some authors will be doing book signings in the various bookstores and markets along Passeig de Gracia and Las Ramblas! It is said that in many of the main architectural sites around Barcelona also depict Sant Jordi such as one of the façades of the Palau de Musica and more!

We hope you enjoy this fun holiday and be sure to take as many photos as you can of the colorful streets!