Are you coming to Barcelona in April? Will you be in the city on April 23rd? This is the day in which the locals walk up and down the streets of Barcelona to buy roses and books, giving the city a fantastic atmosphere. Why is that? What can you expect if you come to Barcelona on April 23rd?
Sant Jordi has a special legend connected to his character. Back in the day, a terrible dragon terrorized the city of Montblanc. To survive the attacks of the dragon, the locals gave animals for the dragon to eat to calm it down. After a while, no animals were left. What could they do? They started to give up locals to feed the dragon. After a while, the daughter of the king was the one to be sacrificed, but as they were about to give her to the dragon, a knight named Sant Jordi showed up. After a long battle with the dragon, he defeated it, and the city was liberated.
Since this is a story of love as the knight fights for the beautiful princess, it has been a tradition to give roses to women on this given day. Later they introduced the tradition of women giving books to men on the same day. Nowadays, it has become common to give both books and roses to both women and men.
Since the festival has a focus on books and roses (it is International Book Day as well), you will find stalls all around Barcelona where you can buy books and roses on this day. There are also houses with special decorations, for example, Casa Battlo.
Some cake shops also celebrate the day by creating the “Pa de Sant Jordi”, a special bread created with the colors of Catalunya (red and yellow). The colors come from the sausage and the cheese which are parts of the bread.
Sant Jordi Festival
Date: April 23
What should you do in Barcelona on this day?
You should visit popular areas such as La Rambla, Paseo de Gracia, Paseo de Sant Joan and Rambla de Cataluña. There are also special programs in buildings such as Casa Battlo, the Town Hall, and in Palau Güell (some of the free), so these are buildings and areas worth visiting on this special day.
Would you like to read more about other concerts, events, festivals, and markets in Barcelona? Take a look at our Barcelona calendar to find out more about what’s happening in the Catalunyan capital.