Barcelona / fiesta / Where in Spain Wednesday

Where in Spain Wednesday – Barcelona’s Sant Jordi Celebrations

This week was one of the prettiest weeks in Barcelona, because it was the Diada de Sant Jordi! The city was full of beautiful freshly-cut roses and the smell of new books.


La Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Day) falls on April 23, which is also World Book Day internationally now (thanks, Catalunya!). The book part of the holiday started when a clever bookseller realized that Sant Jordi’s day lined up with the day both Shakespeare and Cervantes died.

Today, it’s basically a Catalan version of Valentine’s day. Couples and friends swap presents, traditionally a rose for women and a book for men (the saying is “a rose for love and a book forever.”) But I know quite a few girls who got books and guys who got roses, so it doesn’t have to stick to the tradition.The rose part of the story comes from the legend of Sant Jordi;  when he killed the dragon, a rose grew out of its blood.

The city gets filled with stalls selling books, roses, and special gifts. Lots of authors come to do signings and readings. There’s also a surprising amount of pro-Catalan independence stands lining Las Ramblas for such a romantic holiday.




18 thoughts on “Where in Spain Wednesday – Barcelona’s Sant Jordi Celebrations

  1. I really like la diada de St. Jordi, is such a beautiful day. And this year the weather was just perfect (not like today…).
    Around my group of friends, girls usually get a rose and a book and boys get a book. I think it’s so great for us, girls. We get to enjoy a beautiful rose and also a book!

  2. Ah…I remember El dia del Libro at school in Tenerife. We were asked to write short stories and then, the best ones, were given a prize (The prize? A book). The good habit of giving a rose to the girls never went all the way down there when I was a kid though…

    I love the colours of the photo, btw.!

  3. Pingback: Where in Spain Wednesday – Barcelona’s Casa Batllò | ¡Hola Yessica!

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