On April 23 is celebrated the day of “Sant Jordi” patron of Catalonia since 1456. As you know, on that day you must exchange presents: Boys give roses to girls and girls give books to boys.
According to the legend, the village of Montblanc was being terrorised by a dragon. The dragon lived on the outskirts of the town and was getting closer to the walls, so the inhabitants had to find a way to keep it away. They started feeding the dragon with the animals, but when they were over, they had no choice but to sacrifice themselves.
They put the names of all, including the kings in a stew and, every day, someone decided who would die the next morning. One day the princess was chosen and, in spite of the king’s entreaties, the maid left the walls and sadly made her way to her destination.
As the dreadful dragon advanced toward her, a knight appeared upon the horse’s saddle and struck the beast, leaving the dragon wounded severely. The dragon submitted to the knight who tied the princess’s belt around his neck. The young woman took the other end and led the beast, as if it were a dog, to the gates of the city.
There, in sight of all, the Knight killed the dragon and from his blood rose roses, then the Knight, whose name was George or “Jordi,” took the most beautiful rose and gave it to the princess. Therefore the tradition that men give to women a red rose, as a symbol of love and passion, with a spike that symbolises fertility. In exchange, women give to men books.
Also, on April 23, is celebrated the International Day of the Book, to commemorate the death of two famous writers: Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare.
If you are planning to visit Barcelona on this very special date, you must know which the main activities in the city are. Check out right now our advice and don’t miss the best things to do this Sant Jordi.
Things to do in Sant Jordi
Enjoy a pleasant stroll along the streets of Barcelona
Sant Jordi is perhaps the most festive day that is celebrated in Barcelona and is that there is no Barcelonan who does not enjoy a walk on the Rambla Catalunya, enjoying the charm and the splendour of the Rambla during this particular day.
Furthermore, around “Passeig de Gracia” most of the buildings are decorated to the occasion. Take advantage of the special schedules during this day as well and visit some of the most important Gaudi Buildings.
Finding the Perfect Rose
Along the Rambla, you can find thousands of different types of roses, the classic (red rose and spike), solidarity (pink that donates part of its benefits to solidarity causes), artificial, forged roses, etc.
Looking for the perfect Book
Looking for the perfect book on Sant Jordi may be an odyssey, but also a perfect occasion to get real bargains, because on this day all bookstores offer great discounts and sometimes, you can get to meet the writer.
If you are planning to spend this weekend in the capital of Catalonia, we suggest you click here and check out further information regarding Barcelona. Enjoy your Romantic Break in Barcelona.