April 23 is Sant Jordi’s Day, the patron saint of Catalonia and one of the most beautiful days of the year in this region :).
This special day is like Valentine’s Day, the man give away a rose to his girlfriend and the woman give away a book to her lover. The tradition is so implanted that men also give roses to their mothers, sisters, colleagues, etc …
But, where is the beginning?
“The Legend says that near Vila de Montblanc there was a great dragon that had all the inhabitants frightened; and to have it away from the city walls they gave him food every day, first gave him sheeps, cows and then, when the dragon ate all the animals that were in the village, he was still hungry and was getting closer to the city walls.
The people of Montblanc didn’t know how to stop it and finally decided they would have to go sacrificing one by one. They put the names of everyone in a pout, including the king and his beautiful daughter, the princess.
Every day an innocent hand pulled out a paper and the name that came out was given to the dragon to eat. When arrived the turn of the princess the King asked the inhabitants who had mercy with the princess and not let her die, but it was his turn and had to fulfill the agreement.
When the dragon came to take the princess came a brave knight riding a beautiful white horse and brandishing his sword managed to stick it in the dragon’s heart killing him. From the heart wound came out a great gush of blood that fell to the ground and grew a beautiful rosebush.
The gentleman picked the princess and gave her a beautiful rose. Sant Jordi was the knight’s name. All the people were very happy because he had managed to kill the dragon, even the king was so pleased that he had saved his daughter that offered her hand. But Sant Jordi, very grateful, went on his way. ”
So this is the origin of the beautiful tradition to give a rose to women in this day; eventually, since 1930, on April 23 coincides with the Book’s Day, and that is the tradition to give a book to them.
What to do in Catalunya Sant Jordi’s day?
The best is to go out and tour the cities and towns, in every corner you can find a stop selling books and roses, despite being a working day people go out to the street, it is also the beginning of the spring and usually make good weather. This festival is also used to organize book’s signatures throughout the city.
The Barcelona’s main streets for walking are Rambla Catalunya and La Rambla, if you are nearby to Art i Sa, you can visit us and share a good cup of coffee with some cake, or take a look to our Catalan cuisine books.
In the Vila de Montblanc, 2 hours by train from Barcelona, celebrate the medieval week in honor of the legend of Sant Jordi with an extensive program of activities.
We hope you enjoy this special holiday for us 🙂
The ART i SA Barcelona team.