The 23rd of April is Sant Jordi festivity day in Catalonia (St George’s day in England).
Although it isn’t an official bank holiday, it is one of the most beautiful and positive days of the year, probably one of the best days to spend in Barcelona. Spring is coming, the city is surrounded by roses and love and you can feel a positive and romantic atmosphere all around you.
In catalonia, every year on the 23rd of April, it is custom that men offer roses to their loved women (girlfriend, wife, mother, grand-mother, secret love… no limits) and women offer books to their men in return. The book is a reference to the legend of Sant Jordi that gives sense to this festivity, and is also a commemoration of the death of two great European writters: Cervantes and Shakespeare.
So on that day, you will find a Barcelona full of roses, bookshelves, smiles and love. Many famous writters also chose that day to signing their books in the street, to make the present even more special and unique.
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The legend says that on that day, many years ago in Capadocia, there was a dragon that threatend all the inhabitants of the kingdom. In order to satisfy its hunger and prevent it from attacking the village, the inhabitants decided to feed the dragon two lambs a day. But when the amount of animals began to scarce, the dragon became more fussy and demanded to eat one person a day, chosen randomly from the population of the kingdom.
One day, the name that came out chosen to be the dragon’s meal was the one of the daughter of the King, the young and beautiful princess. The King had to be fair to his citizens and couldn’t turn his back to destiny. He therefore sent his one and only daughter to the dragon’s cave. But when the dragon was about to make one bite of the princess, a handsome and courageous knight, Jorge, appeared riding his horse and fought the dragon to death to save his princess. He slayed the dragon’s head and stabbed his sword in its heart. From the blood that flowed from the lifeless body of the monster born a big rosebush with one magnificent red rose, that the gentleman handed to the princess as a proof of his love.
The King offered the gentleman all the riches to imagine, but the knight only loved his princesss and didn’t want any of it, so he preferred to donate everything to the inhabitants of the kingdom. In addition to this, a church was built in his name, from which flowed miraculous water that was able to heal the sick.