Sunday, April 23, 2006


Sant Jordi, a festival of roses and books

Today is Sant Jordi in Barcelona. It is a festival of roses and books. Guys are supposed to give roses to girls and the girls are supposed to give books to guys. The rose part is the Valentine's day equivalent in Catalunya region but you may be wondering how the tradition of giving books is mixed in with the giving of roses. This is because this is also the day when Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare died. This is what we learned in our Spanish class.

Expectedly, I saw lots of people and stores selling roses and books today. But I had never seen a blue rose before. A new "rose" experience indeed!

blue roses along with red and pink roses

There were book stalls everywhere in Barcelona today.

really good to know about the history of Sant Jordi day..
"Blue Rose" never heard before. Thanks for the picture. It's a surprise for me too.
Interestingly enough, the book part of this holiday did not get "added" until early 1920s, before that it was just a rose... It was just one bookseller that came up with the idea to sell his books better. He promoted the fact that Servantes and Shakespeare left the world the same day, and given that Barcelona had many educated people at the time, citizens absorbed this "innovation" right away... That bookseller could have been a successful IESE student... :)
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