Today is Día de Sant Jordi, which is a special holiday in Barcelona. It’s all about books and roses!
When is it?
What is it?
El Día de Sant Jordi or Saint George’s Day is celebrates in Spain and has special significance in Catalonia (the region where Barcelona is located) as Sant Jordi is the patron saint of the region.
How do people celebrate?
Sant Jordi day is sometimes compared to Valentine’s Day as one of the main ways to celebrate is by giving roses to a loved one. Roses have special significance to the day because of the legend associated with the day. Since the 1920s, the day books have also been given as gifts on Sant Jordi day as April 23 is also the day of the year both William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes died.
In Barcelona, you can find book stands and rose stands throughout the city, especially on certain major streets, including Las Ramblas.
According to legend, a ferocious and hungry dragon was terrorizing a village. The villagers tried to satisfy it by feeding it their animals, but this was not enough. When they ran out of animals, the villagers drew straws to see who would be fed to the dragon. The king’s daughter was drawn, but before she was sacrificed to the dragon a knight named Jordi arrived. He slayed the dragon.
Out of the dragon’s spilled blood grew beautiful red roses, and Jordi gave the most beautiful one to the princess.
(There are varying versions of the legend, but this is a general overview.)
Sant Jordi Day is always a fun day at school and out in the city in general. Bakeries make cakes that look like books or that have dragons or roses on them. The kids to dragon crafts, and our school has a big book exchange at the end of the day. (Of course, this year, those events aren’t happening, but people can still read stories and do dragon crafts at home!)
Here are two fun dragon crafts you can try in the spirit of the holiday: