Sant Jordi is the festival of books and roses for the ones we love most.
This Catalan tradition dates from the start of the 20th century, when the booksellers belonging to the Gremi de Llibreters (Booksellers Guild) and the Cambra Oficial del Llibre (Official Chamber of Books) decided to commemorate 23 April because the writers William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Garcilaso de la Vega all died on that date. It is also the date on which other famous writers were born or died, such as Josep Pla, Maurice Druon, K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. UNESCO declared this a global tradition in 1996, since when it has been International Book and Copyright Day.
Thanks to its strong literary tradition and commitment to literature, Barcelona was recently included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network as a City of Literature. The title implies world recognition of Barcelona’s literary sector and literature.
Roses reflect the outcome of the legend and come in every colour, symbolising various moods and feelings towards people. Red is the symbol for love and admiration, and more red roses are sold than any other colour on this day.
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To mark Sant Jordi (St George’s Day), Barcelona City Hall will be holding an open day. The tour will start at the gate on Carrer de la Ciutat (Gothic facade).