On April 23rd we celebrate love and culture
We celebrate “Sant Jordi” on this day. Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia and the main character of the legend that started the tradition of handing out flowers on April 23rd.
Why do we hand out flowers?
The legend tells the tale of an evil dragon that dwelled in a small village in Tarragona called Montblanc. In order to appease the dragon every day one person would be chosen at random to be sacrificed. One day that person was the princess. As the princess was approaching the dragon’s lair, a knight (Saint Jordi), appeared on a horse and rescued her.
And guess what? Sant Jordi killed the dragon, freeing the princess (and the people of Montblanc). And then from the dragon’s blood, the most beautiful and vibrant roses started to bloom. The knight picked one and offered it to the princess.
The tradition of giving out flowers in Catalonia goes back to at least the XV century. Back then in Barcelona, a rose festival would be organised for Saint Jordi aimed at all the couples. Saint Jordi is without a doubt the most romantic day for the people of Catalonia.
That’s the love part…
Why do we hand out books?
April 23rd is also a book festival. During the 1929 Barcelona World Expo, librarians took to the streets to promote reading. This was very a very successful event, and it later was changed to the 23rd of April.
During this day everything revolves around culture and love. Most of the celebration takes place in Barcelona’s Rambla and in 2017 more than 7 million roses and 1.6 million books were sold!
Why not hand out poetry? Do you know about Elvira Sastre? Elvira Sastre’s poetry is simple, intense and exciting. It’s about love, loss, desire, pain, and feeling alive.
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