A festival of romance with roses and books
The Saint’s George Day is held every April 23rd in Catalonia with the Book & Rose Day, culture and love symbols. This day of the year 303 the knight George died. The Saint, under the mandate of the Emperor Diocletian, refused to follow the orders to chase the Christians. That’s why he was tortured and beheaded. Later he become a martyr.
Saint George has been the official patron of Catalonia since 1456. At the end of the 19th century, with the political and cultural movement of La Renaixença, is established as the most patriotic, civic and cultural day held in Catalonia. The Catalan tradition of gifting books and roses goes back to the 15th century.
The legend says …
In the lands of Montblanc, there was a fierce dragon which frightened the entire population. They had been afraid of the huge beast for lots of years. First, they gave it their chicken, but these were far too small to soothe the dragon’s hunger, so it soon asked for more. The villagers decided to give away their sheep and goats. Still these were not enough to fill the stomach of the beast. Desperate, the King decided that every day they would offer the beast a randomly chosen person. Sure, enough everyone was scared and unwilling to be eaten by such a beast. Therefore, something needed to be done.
Someone proposed that fortune should choose who was to be given to the dragon. Luck wanted the first victim in sacrifice to be the daughter of the King. People, who worshiped the Princess, came into disbelief and begged the King for clemency. But he, faithful to his decisions, sent his daughter to the cave of the Dragon.
Suddenly, a handsome knight clads in a white costume with a red cross on it and armed with a sword and a white shield with a Red Cross reached the village. His name was George and he came to save the Princess and the entire population of Montblanc. He fought in the most heroic and brave way against the Dragon and he managed to kill the dragon with his sword. After a few days, where St. George had defeated the Dragon, a red rose flower like its blood was born.
The International Book Day
Since 1925, Saint George’s Day is also International Book Day, an internationally celebrated festival with the aim of promoting reading. It’s a festival of feelings and culture!