St. Jordi´s day is Catalunya's version of Valentine's Day and is a one day festival of romance, roses and books all inspired by the legend of Saint George on 23rd April every year.
St. Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia (along with the Virgin of Montserrat) and so Sant Jordi is celebrated on 23rd April to commerate his death on that date in the year 303 AD. The legend of Saint George, which you probably have heard, is that Saint Jordi slew a dragon to save a princess - and then plucked a red rose for the princess from a rose bush, which had sprouted on the exact spot, where the dragon's red blood had spilled.
On Sant Jordi's day it has long been a tradition that the men in Barcelona and Catalunya give their sweetheart a red rose, but now in more recent years, due to the simultaneous deaths of Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare on 23 April 1616, a new tradition arose at the beginning of the 20th
century which is that now the ladies give the men a book.
There are bookstalls and book markets all over Barcelona on Sant Jordis day especially on Las Ramblas and Rambla de Catalunya. By the end of the day, some four million roses and 800,000 books will have been purchased. Most women will carry a rose in hand, and half of the total yearly book sales in Catalonia take place on this occasion.
Different Coloured Roses © image: Zelik
Nowadays roses of many different colours are sold to be given as a present with each colour symbolizing something different:
– usually given to lovers because it symbolizes passion and love.
- usually given to friends since they symbolize trust. It is said that if you give blue roses to someone who is anxious, it will help that person to feel more calm.
- usually given to thank someone else for an important favour, or simply for that persons affection.
- symbolize nobelty, femininity and seduction
- symbolize purity and innocence, and are often given to express someone the desire of having a deep long relationship
- less common, but are also seen. They symbolize joy and happiness, thus they are usually given to teenagers and also in celebrations
Although it is not a public holiday in Catalonia you can definitely sense that there is a fiesta taking place as the whole center of the city is filled with people. Listed below are the areas with the highest number of book stalls and roses, but bear in mind that these areas will be very busy and crowded so if you want somewhere a bit more relaxed then move a little further out of the center.
Plaça Sant Jaume
Jaume I (Yellow Line, L4
Catalunya (Red Line, L1) or (Green Line, L3)
La Rambla (Las Ramblas)
Drassanes (Green Line, L3)
Liceu (Green Line, L3)
Catalunya (Green Line, L3)
If you are going to be in Barcelona around this time and you still haven´t found somewhere to stay then take a look at Habitat Apartments
where you will find a wide range of great apartments available to rent. Featured below is the Ferran Suites Apartment
which is in the perfect location if you are wanting to celebrate Sant Jordi´s Day!
Ferran Suites Apartment
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