On April 23, all of Catalonia celebrates Saint George. On this day, the Catalan people pay homage to their patron saint, Saint George, with a curious tradition – we gift books and roses.
If you want to learn more about this holiday, its origins and how to enjoy this beautiful day, we recommend that you go on reading.
What and when is Saint George?
Saint George is one of the most important celebrations in the Catalan territory. It takes place in spring – more specifically, on April 23.
It is a popular holiday that combines culture and romanticism. On this day, it is customary for couples to exchange gifts. Originally, men received a book and women received a rose. However, it is becoming increasingly common for both men and women to receive either gift, regardless of gender.
History – what are the origins of this tradition?
The legend of Saint George and the dragon is one of the most significant, well- known stories in Catalonia. It is said that a knight named George (hence the name of the holiday) slayed a dragon that was terrorising a village and its princess. Upon slaying the beast with his sword, from the lifeless body sprouted a red rose, which Saint George offered to the princess. And that is why, on this day, roses are gifted and we celebrate lovers’ day.
Why the books?
Curiously, April 23 is also World Book Day, so this Catalan holiday adopted this among other commercial aspects to complete the holiday, and brought books into the gift-exchanging tradition.