Books and Flowers please. Red Roses in particular

The patron saint of Catalonia is the same as England’s, St George. The day that St George’s or Sant Jordi is celebrated is the same, 23rd April.  I would be willing to bet that more Catalonians know their Saint’s day than English people.  Might be something to do with the way it is celebrated!


“Roses, books and lovers: Barcelona is full of them on 23 April. In Catalonia the World Book Day becomes an especially romantic festivity. The people in Catalonia celebrate the day of their patron saint, Sant Jordi, with a curious tradition….

In spring you will be able to take part in one of the most original celebrations in Catalonia – Sant Jordi. It is a very traditional festivity that combines culture and romanticism. That day, on 23 April, according to tradition couples exchange gifts: a book for the men and a rose for the women. Book and flower stalls are set up along the streets of Barcelona. They fill will people walking around stalls, looking for a gift for their beloved, and for their family and friends, too. You will be able to find the latest publications, see well-known artists signing copies of their books, and of course, smell the scent of the roses.This curious festival comes from a mixture of traditions from different periods. It coincides, on one hand, with the fact that Sant Jordi has been the patron saint of Catalonia since the 15th century; on the other hand, it comes from the famous legend of St George and the dragon and the old medieval tradition of visiting the Chapel of Sant Jordi in the Government Palace, where a rose fair or “lovers” fair used to take place. This is why Sant Jordi is also the patron saint of lovers in Catalonia.”

It’s not just Barcelona,  stalls are in all the villages around here too. I shall be getting my nearest and dearest a book of some description, hopefully in English…and waiting for a rose.  I think I’d rather have a live one in a pot for the garden, than cut one.