St Jordi: Day of the Book and the Rose in Barcelona
Sant Jordi day is Barcelona ‘s most romantic day. Year after year, Sant Jordi becomes the perfect excuse to organize a popular festival in the streets of Barcelona. Roses, books, and lovers, never lack supply in Barcelona on 23 April.
If you want to know what means, its origin, and how to enjoy it the day of love, we invite you to read on.
What is Sant Jordi Barcelona’s day?
Sant Jordi or St George is the festival of expressions of love and is considered the patron Saint of lovers. Remembrances in the form of books and roses for the people we love the most.
The origin of this curious festival is a mixture of traditions from different eras. It coincides, on the one hand, the fact that Sant Jordi is, since the 15th century, the patron saint of Catalonia, and on the other, the famous legend of Sant Jordi and the dragon.
Legend of Sant Jordi
The legend explains that long ago, in Montblanc (Tarragona) a cruel dragon, capable of poisoning the air and killing with his breath, had frightened the inhabitants of the city. The inhabitants, scared and tired of the dragon´s ravages and misdeeds, decided to calm him by feeding him one person a day that would be chosen randomly in a draw. After several days, the princess was the unlucky one.
When the princess left her home and headed towards the dragon, a gentleman named St Jordi, dressed in shining armor, riding a white horse, suddenly appeared to rescue her. St Jordi raised his sword and stabbed the dragon, at last releasing the princess and the citizens from this turmoil. From the dragon’s blood, a rose bush grew with the reddest roses that had ever been seen. St Jordi, now a hero, picked a rose and offered it to the princess.
The tradition of the red roses and books in St Jordi’s Day Barcelona
On this day, the tradition is men give a rose to their loved women and the women give a book to their loved ones.
Nowadays, the directionality of roses and books matters little. Most important is their presence on that day.
Exchanging roses, giving away books is the way to commemorate one of the traditions that are most rooted in the Catalan culture. It should be added that it has become a classic tradition to get the latest literary novelties, special editions, or the signature and dedication of your favorite author.
Otherwise, if you want to finish this romantic day with a special dinner, don’t miss our selection of the most romantic restaurants in Barcelona.