27th March 2013
Be Hostels invites you to spend the day of Sant Jordi with us! This day is a special day in Catalunya, especially in Barcelona. Almost every woman gets a rose and gives their man a book, coming to a total of 5 million roses handed out that day! On this spring day people go out to a buy book and a rose to celebrate a tradition that mainly takes place on the city streets, and the Ramblas of Barcelona is the best suited place to spend this special day.
Plus, another special event is taking part on that same day: it’s the day of the book in Catalunya, which fits perfectly with the lovely Sant Jordi tradition.
But what exactly is Sant Jordi?
Well.. the legend says that, in the city of Montblanc, there lived a dragon who tormented the population. By vote, it was decided that the King’s daughter was going to be sacrificed to the dragon. Out of the blue, Sant Jordi, a true knight, appeared and killed the dragon with his sword and so saved the princess. Roses blossomed from the blood of the dragon, and the King wished to marry his daughter to Sant Jordi. But Sant Jordi declined, saying that he wasn’t worth the princess’ hand. It is from this legend that the tradition of offering roses to the woman one loves has grown.
On the 23rd of April 1616, both Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare died. It is in their honor that ‘the day of book’ is celebrated on this day. Since 1964, the 23rd of April has been declared the day of the book in spanish speaking countries and, more recently in 1995, Unesco has made the day of the book a worldwide celebration. The tradition of offering books on this day comes from history.
And what is a tradition if it a party doesn’t come along with it?
Sant Jordi is so much more than the offering of books and roses. It is also the unofficial Catalan day for celebrating love by couples who don’t want to accept the foreign imposition of Saint Valentines onto their culture. A special part of this day is that bookstores from around the city mount stands on the streets, so that everyone can find the book they are looking for. These book stands are surrounded by flower sellers and other merchants, all out on the streets of Barcelona. The typical color for the rose is red, but you can also find lots of other colors like blue and purple roses on this day. Whatever it takes to make the women you love feel special. Flowers are also given to mothers, grandmothers and sisters.
The spot by excellence to obeserve and celebrate this tradition of Sant Jordi are along the different Ramblas in Barcelona, which are filled with people enjoying the good weather that spring brings us and looking for that special book all day long.
- 23 of April
- Ramblas of Barcelona
- Free event