For most of the people visiting Catalonia 23rd of April seems to be the most romantic day of the year!
On that day the streets in Barcelona are filled with thousands of roses celebrating the Sant Jordi. The tradition comes from different periods in the past but the modern celebration is to receive a flower and give the book to someone who you love, including family members and friends.
Legend of Sant Jordi
Once upon a time, a fearsome dragon was destroying a small village in Catalonia called Montblanc. People were frightened and hopeless so they decided to sacrifice one person every day in order to calm the anger of the dragon. The day has come when the king's daughter was supposed to be sacrificed but at the moment she was about to be eaten up by the dragon, a courageous knight, Saint George (St George in Catalan) killed the evil beast. A red rose grew from the dragon's blood and since then it is a Catalonian tradition to give a rose to your loved one. Sant Jordi has become a patron saint celebrated in Spain and England.
Celebration of Literature
The new tradition includes giving the book because the UNESCO World Book Day is on 23 April. Barcelona is celebrating it by having open bookstalls and book markets on the streets. Also, the death of two famous writers Miguel de Cervantes from Spain and William Shakespeare form England happened on the 23rd of April 1616 which is why both countries are celebrating the literature on that day. Temporary rose stalls and bookshelves can be found on any main street In Barcelona so if you are here on that dates – read or buy some old books while enjoying the charm of colorful roses in La Rambla, Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla de Catalunya. Things to do on Sant Jordi
Even though Sant Jordi is not a holiday, employees usually leave their offices earlier or take a break to enjoy the atmosphere. If you decide to join then you could also:
- Get special offers and discounts on activities, restaurants, and attractions
- Check cafes and bookshops holding reading events
- Get a signature on your favorite book
- Buy a gift at the donating rose stall and give it to the person that you love
- Enjoy street performance
- See the beautiful Casa Batllo ornate with red roses
If you want to find a quality food that is on your budget check the list of Cheap eats in Barcelona.
Are you in Barcelona on Sant Jordi? Book an apartment with us and enjoy your stay. For more details, please visit the Habitat Apartments website.