The day April 23 is the Day of “Sant Jordi” in Barcelona – a symbolic and very romantic holiday and one of the most favorite holidays of the Catalans. According to tradition, every year on Saint George’s Day (the saint patron of Catalonia) men give red roses to women and women give books in return. This festivity is the Catalan version of Valentine’s Day.
This day is associated with a beautiful legend of the fourth century. According to it, in the small Catalan town of Montblanc, there was a dragon that scared all the local habitants. Every day the habitants had to sacrifice animals or even humans. Once the unluckiness felt on the king’s daughter, and to save her, the king offered the princess´s hand and heart to the man who would defeat the dragon. Saint George fought with the monster and killed him. In the place where was killed the dragon grew a rose garden and the most beautiful of them Saint George gave to the princess.
The tradition of giving books to men is associated with the memory of the great Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, who died in April 23, 1616. Each year, the Day of “Sant Jordi”, Barcelona becomes one of the most beautiful and romantic places, full of flowers and book fairs.