Sant Jordi’s Day Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain 2017

Sant Jordi’s day is Catalonia’s most romantic day of the year. Sant Jordi’s is the day of Red Rose, Romance, and Books. Read about Sant Jordi history and legend, the traditions and things to do on Sant Jordi’s day in Barcelona.

Saint George's Day

the book stalls on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas

St Jordi’s day is Saint George’s Day in Barcelona and Catalonia and is the most romantic day of the year. It is also called “El Día de los Amantes,” which means Lovers Day and sometimes called “El día de la Rosa,” which means the Rose Day. St. Jordi day is not a public holiday in Barcelona, so shops are open as usual.

St. Jordi’s is Catalunya’s version of Valentine’s day

St. Jordi’s is Catalunya’s version of Valentine’s day and is a one day festival of romance, roses, and books all inspired by the legend of Saint George on 23rd April every year. St. Jordi is the co-patron saint of Catalonia and autonomy (region) of Spain. Together with co-patron saint the Blessed Virgin of Montserrat which is at the Benedictine Montserrat monastery near Barcelona

Sant Jordi is always celebrated on 23rd April to commemorate his death on that day in the year 303 AD. The legend of Saint George, which you might have heard, is that Saint Jordi slew a dragon to save a princess and then plucked a red rose for the princess from the rose bush, which had sprouted on the exact spot, where the dragon’s red blood had spilled.

On  day the men in Barcelona and Catalunya give their sweetheart a red rose, and in recent years a new Sant Jordi tradition is that the ladies give the men a book.  There are book stalls and book markets all over Catalonia and Barcelona on Sant Jordi’s day. In whatever town you are in go to the main Placa or Las Ramblas. In Barcelona look on the Las Ramblas or Placa Catalonia.

Around €20 million euros worth of books will be sold over the next few days in preparation for Sant Jordi’s day in Catalunya. The book giving tradition was inspired by William Shakespeare and Cervantes.  In 1923 the tradition of rose giving was expanded to include the ladies giving the men a book on Sant Jordi’s day. This is how the international “World Book Day” started.

This Catalan romantic tradition of Sant Jordi’s  is rapidly spreading across the world with similar celebrations in London, New York, and Japan.

Sant Jordi's Catalonia

Don’t forget to buy your sweet heart a red rose this weekend

The president of the wholesaler’s union at Mercabarna-flor, Miquel Batlle, admitted that rose sales may be affected by the fact that this year Sant Jordi is on a Sunday and therefore the companies’ orders may drop.

However, he believed that Sant Jordi will expand beyond the 23rd of April and affect the whole weekend. “This year we will have a 4-day-long Sant Jordi,” he explained and forecast that companies will start distributing flowers to their workers on Friday. Moreover, on Monday some will still bring roses to their beloved ones. “There is no excuse for not giving a rose,” he said.

Thus, florists expect to maintain the same sales levels as last year’s and reach the figure of 6 million roses. The average starting price will stand at €4 euros. The traditional red rose called ‘Freedom’ is expected to be the best-selling variety once again. White, yellow, and pink roses will continue on the rise, following the trend over the last few years.