On every 23rd of April of each year, books and roses flood the streets of Spain. It is called Sant Jordi!
Often compared with Valentine’s Day, during Sant Jordi’s day, with our relatives, friends or colleagues we exchange roses and books. This day is dedicated to every person who loves to read and we enjoy literature in a different way.
In Catalonia, this day is very popular. At first, men offer to their girlfriend a rose and, in exchange, they give them a book. Today this tradition has evolved, we can offer roses and books to everyone. This tradition is inspired by the legend of Sant Jordi (known to many as Saint George) and the Dragon.
According to the story, in a small kingdom, a dragon spreaded terror and every day the inhabitants sacrificed a person to appease him. However, when the princess’s turn came, the knight Sant Jordi saved her and killed the dragon with his spear. After, blood spilled from the dragon, pushed a rosebush which knight picked up a rose to offer it to the princess.
Since, Sant Jordi has become the patron saint of the lovers of Catalonia and roses have been offered to brides.
The idea of the book emerged much later, in the twentieth century.
Previously, Book Day was celebrated on the 7th of October, but the date was moved until the 23rd April, because that day two great authors disappeared: William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. This date has been converted, since 1995 by Unesco, into International Book and Copyright Day. Around the world, more than 80 countries celebrate “World Book Day “on the 23rd April.
Therefore, you will have the opportunity to see in all the Spanish cities, streets decorated with roses and books.