We wish you a happy St George’s Day (Sant Jordi)

Sant Jordi and the good dragon III – oil on canvas – 55 x 24 cm


23rd April: the day of the book and the rose
The 23rd April is the day of Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia since the 15th Century. Even it is not a public or national holiday, it is a very popular and festive occasion to celebrate both culture and romanticism or love. Sant Jordi´s Day (in Catalonia “Diada de Sant Jordi”) is for Catalans they day of the book and the rose: a combination of the cultural celebration of the World Book Day and also the celebration of a day with romantic connotations, like Saint Valentine´s Day. The April 23rd means in Catalonia both love and culture.
This day streets become full of both book and roses stands, and it is also possible to find literary activities and recitals, and also well-known authors signing the copies of their books in some bookstalls or bookstores. For this reason, this day becomes a special one to walk around and enjoy the festive environment. In some cities, for example in Barcelona, it is also possible to find people dancing the traditional “Sardana” or people building up the traditional human towers called “Castellers”, two Catalan traditional activities usually performed in festive occasions.  
On April 23th, as a tradition couples exchange gifts: the man traditionally receives a book as a gift, and the woman a rose.  However, even the tradition was this exchange, over the years this has developed and both can receive books and/or roses.
Sant Jordi´s day is a very good day to buy books, one can find the latest book publications for all targets. In some moment of the day, people take some time to walk around and look for a book or rose for any beloved one, for anyone in the family, for a friend, or just to buy the books they would like to read. You can find roses of all colours everywhere.


The Legend of Sant Jordi
The legend says that, once upon a time, a ferocious dragon was terrorizing all the people living in a Catalan town called Montblanc. In order to calm the wild animal, people in the town accorded to offer him two sheep a day. But the sheep soon were not enough and runned out, so it was agreed that there would be human sacrifices to replace the sheep.
The king ordered to choose at random the person to be sacrified. And choosing at random it came the day that the one chosen was his beautiful daughter, the princess.
Just when the princess was being let to the dragon´s den, the knight Sant Jordi appeared riding on his horse and he went to rescue her. The knight killed the wild dragon with his sword, freeing the princess and all the people in the town.
The dragon´s blood soaked into the ground and just in that blood spot place it suddenly grew a bunch of red roses. The knight took one of them and offered the flower to the princess.
Dreaming about a world with more good than bad, with more cooperation than fight, in the image we can find the version of a good dragon that joins forces with the knight. Have a nice culture and love day! Have a nice Sant Jordi´s day!
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