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Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Girl gets rose, Boy gets book ©hellostanley via Flickr

Don´t be surprised next Saturday (23 April 2011) in Barcelona. The streets of Barcelona will be very crowded and this time it won´t be caused by tourists only. No, it’s the day of Saint George (Sant Jordi) and in Catalonia this is the equivalent to Valentine’s Day. However, cards, chocolate boxes and teddy bears are not the usual gifts during these festivities. No, this is all about roses and books.

You could see book stalls in the craziest places last week (we even saw one in the gym!) to give women the opportunity to buy a book everywhere. The use is that men give a rose to their sweetie and the women give a book  to their beloved ones in return.

The whole city will be very vivid. The pastries turn yellow and red, women and men walking around with roses and their new books. Stalls with either books or flowers can be found everywhere. Romantic couples take a hand-in-hand stroll, especially around Las Ramblas, Plaza Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia . Together with the warm and lovely spring sunshine the atmosphere in the city will be excellent.

It’s not a coincidence that this day is dedicated to love. First, Sant Jordi is one of the patron saint of Catalonia region. According to the legend, Saint George slew the dragon to save the princess and then he plucked a rose that had grown from the blood of the dragon. How romantic is that?

If you are in Barcelona and feel like surprising your lover: For flowers you do not need to worry, you´ll be able to buy them just down the street. But if you are looking for an English book, please contact the larger book sections of Fnac (Plaza Catalunya) and El Corte Inglés (Avinguda Portal de l’Àngel, 19-21). There are many other bookstores in Barcelona which also offer English books:

Activities Sant Jordi in Barcelona:

  • Since 1923 this day is also well known as the International Book Day Festival. Authors often present their own novels, do book signings or reed from their own work (generally or in Spanish or Catalan). Neverless, it is nice entertainment for the enthusiasts.
  • Wednesday 27 April there will be a free concert at 18:30 in the city hall of the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district

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