Sant Jordi, a romantic day in Barcelona

On April 23, Barcelona is filled with roses, books and lovers: on International Book Day, lovers also celebrate their day in Catalonia. This especially romantic festive day coincides with the patron saint of Catalonia, Sant Jordi. This festival has a distinctive popular character that unites culture and romanticism.

The custom sees couples exchange gifts: men receive a book and women a rose. Thus, Barcelona on this day becomes an open-air bookstore-flower shop. The streets are filled with people strolling among books and roses, looking for a gift for their loved one and also for family or friends.
Throughout the city you will find stalls with the latest publishing news and you will see authors signing books while you enjoy the aroma of roses.

Sant Jordi and its celebrations are the result of a mixture of customs from different eras. On the one hand, Sant Jordi has been the patron saint of Catalonia since the 15th century, and on the other hand, there is the legend of Saint George and the dragon, which tells the story of the saint defeating the dragon. On this day there is also the medieval custom of visiting the chapel of Sant Jordi in the Palacio de la Generalitat, where a fair of roses or "lovers" took place. That is why Sant Jordi is also known as the patron saint of lovers in Catalonia.

This day is perfect to visit the Palacio de la Generalitat since its doors remain open all day and in the inner cloister roses continue to be sold for charity. Also, on this date you can take the opportunity to enjoy the popular music concert and the wide variety of activities that include, among others, the official mass in the Sant Jordi chapel and in the building's Gothic courtyard.

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