Monday, April 25, 2011

St. Jordi's Day: The Day of Lovers

Football, Easter, St. Jordi's Day - oh my! 
Not only are we in the middle of an unprecedented four-time Barca-Real Madrid schedule, but all the important Springtime holidays celebrated in Catalonia fell last weekend. 

St. Jordi's Day is the Catalan Valentine's Day when men give roses their novias and women return the gesture by gifting books to their novios. It's also an important day for Catalan independence.

Roadside rose-sellers pop up in all the towns:

And outdoor bookshops are on every corner:

Legend has it that a terrible dragon was wrecking havoc on Catalonia and eating up the inhabitants. In order to appease the dragon, the villagers sacrificed one villager per day by drawing lots. On the day that the princess of the town was to be slaughtered, a knight in shining armor, St. Jordi, appeared out of nowhere and stabbed the dragon to death.

Later, a red rose sprung forth from spot where the dragon died, which is why every April 23, men give red roses to their sweethearts (and good friends): 

 And women give books to their men.
Books have nothing to do with the legend, but in 1923, a clever bookseller decided use the day, which also happens to be the day Shakespeare and Cervantes both died, to promote literacy and books.

And the tradition stuck. Ted received an eBook on his Nook but he posed this photo anyway:

Since St. Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia, the fight for Catalan independence is also recognized. Our friend Nuria's Mom made a Catalan-flag inspired dessert:

Holidays, traditions, celebrations - oh my!
More on Semana Santa, Easter, our adventures in the Catalan highlands, and FC Barca coming soon...


  1. Real Madrid and Barcelona??

    Do you know that the Phillies have been in 1st place since the season opened?

    Houston has been in last place.

  2. Ted is a gentleman!!!

  3. You're so hot, you're welcome to Barcelona whenever you want ^^