April 23rd Sant Jordi’s Day in Barcelona
Barcelona and Sant Jordi are closely related to the culture and history of Catalonia. Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia and is celebrated on April 23 each year in commemoration of his death, fulfilling the ritual of giving a rose and a book.
The streets of Barcelona are filled with stalls of books and roses, the locals take to the streets to buy them and give them to their loved ones, it is a way to honor the figure of Sant Jordi and to celebrate the Catalan culture and literature, it is a festival with a strong popular character, which combines the day of the book and the day of lovers.
In addition, in Barcelona there are several monuments and places that refer to Sant Jordi, the Casa Amatller, in Passeig de Gràcia, the Casa de les Punxes in the Diagonal, the Palace of Baron Quadras also in the Diagonal or the Palau de la Generalitat located in the Plaza Sant Jaume among others.
A day to enjoy that, even if it is not a holiday, it is as if it was. Streets are full of people, spring color, roses everywhere and bookstands with their authors sign and dedicate their books.
A bit of history about the Patron Saint of Catalonia
The cult of Sant Jordi spread throughout the Catalan countries during the Middle Ages and since 1456 is the official patron saint of Catalonia.
The story of Sant Jordi is one of the best known and most popular in Western culture. Although there are different versions and variants of the story, the most widespread tells that Sant Jordi was a Roman soldier who lived between the second and third centuries in present-day Israel, who converted to Christianity and was beheaded for this reason in 494 by the Roman emperor Diocletian, after torturing him for years.
Centuries later, Sant Jordi was proclaimed patron saint of the Christian aristocratic cavalry that fought in the first crusade (1096 – 1099), and later he was made patron saint of the aristocratic cavalries of Europe.
According to legend, Sant Jordi arrived in a city where a dragon was terrorizing its inhabitants, devouring anyone who approached its cave. The only way to appease the dragon was to offer him a human sacrifice. When it was the turn of the king’s daughter, Sant Jordi appeared before the monster, fought him and killed him with his sword.
From the dragon’s blood a rose bush was born, from which Sant Jordi plucked a rose to give to the princess. This is the origin of the tradition of giving a rose on Saint George’s Day, which is celebrated in many parts of the world.
In Catalonia, the figure of Sant Jordi is associated with the fight against oppression, in reference to the dragon, which can represent different dangers or threats. In addition, Catalonia also celebrates the Day of the Book on the same day, so the tradition of giving a book and a rose has become one of the most important traditions of Catalan culture.
Come and celebrate Sant Jordi day in Barcelona!
We encourage you to come to Barcelona, enjoy the celebration of Sant Jordi and stay in our hotels Continental Barcelona and Continental Palacete, located in the center of the city, from where you can enjoy this amazing day.