Sant Jordi (Saint George) is the patron saint of Catalonia and it is celebrated on April 23rd. On these days, Barcelona is full of roses and books, the two main symbols of Sant Jordi. In fact, tradition says this day men should gift roses to women, and women should gift books to men. Nowadays, the tradition keeps going but it has evolved. This way, everyone gifts roses and books, no matter the gender of the person.
It is a special day, a day dedicated to love and culture in Barcelona. So, if you are visiting the Catalan capital during those days, don’t hesitate to go for a walk and breath the great atmosphere of the city.
Here we present some activities you can include in your “to-do-list” for Sant Jodi in Barcelona.
A bit of history
Sant Jordi is based on a legend. It is said that a dragon frightened Silca city, and villagers agreed to give a person as sacrifice every day in order to calm the dragon. One of these days, king’s daughter was the chosen one to surrender in sacrifice to the dragon.
Nevertheless, a young knight with armor and mounted on a white horse faced the dragon and they fought a great battle until the knight George drove a great spear on dragon’s chest.
After that, a beautiful rose was born from the blood of the dragon and the knight handed it to the princess.
Meet your favourite writers
On 23rd April, streets are full of stands with a wide range of books. Additionally, many authors will be in Barcelona for “La Diada de Sant Jordi” (Sant Jordi day) to sign copies of their books to readers. Most of them are located in the stands of Las Ramblas, just a few minutes ago from this chic bohemian apartment in Jaume I.
So, if you are fan of some Catalan or Spanish author, don’t forget to bring your book and let the artist sign it with a special dedication. Does it occur to you a better souvenir?
Find the best rose of Barcelona
As we previously said, the tradition of giving a rose to a girl and a book to a boy is now more flexible.
This way, walk along the decorated streets of Barcelona and find the best rose stand to buy a rose for your beloved ones. No matter if they are your family, partner, neighbours or friends.
Sant Jordi is also a great time to discover different Catalan traditions such as Sardanes.
Sardanes are a type of circle dance typical of Catalan culture. This dance started gaining popularity throughout Catalonia during the 20th century.
In the year 2010, the Government of Catalonia added the sardana to the Catalonia’s festivities heritage catalogue and declared it a festivity of national interest.
Some institutions open their doors on symbolic days, such as the 23rd, and Barcelona’s city hall is one of them. You can also visit for free some astonishing buildings such as Güell Palace, Sant Pau Modernistic Centre or Catalan National History Museum.