Sant Jordi festivity: Roses, books and lovers

Roses, books and lovers fill Barcelona on 23rd April, the celebration of Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Day). Tradition requires men to give a rose to women who reciprocate with a book. A day to stroll around the city and enjoy the magical atmosphere of streets full of stalls selling books and roses. On this day you just have to visit Gaudí’s emblematic building, Casa Batlló, where the mythical legend of Saint George is represented both on the façade and inside the house.                                               

On the day of Sant Jordi, patron saint of Catalonia, buildings everywhere display the red and gold Catalan flag, and bakeries sell Sant Jordi bread sprinkled with red sobrasada pâté. Red roses decorate Barcelona and the many statues and paintings of Sant Jordi in all his dragon-slaying splendour. Legend tells that when drops of the dragon’s blood fell, they turned into red flowers, and for more than five centuries, this has been the Catalan version of Saint Valentine’s Day. Men always gave women a rose tied to an ear of wheat, and women reciprocated with a book; this is also the “Day of the Book”.

It is a day for walking around the city, soaking up the atmosphere of the streets full of stalls selling books and roses. This day the emblematic building of Gaudí, la Casa de Batllo where the mythical legend is represented on the facade and in two specific places inside the house is an absolute must.

Casa Batlló