Diada de Sant Jordi or Saint George’s Day was one of my favourite celebrations whilst living in Barcelona and in this post I will explain why it is so special and why you should visit Catalunya for this lovely day.
All dressed up ready and excited to explore the streets of Barcelona on Sant Jordi.
Diada de Sant Jordi is celebrated on the 23rd of April in Catalunya. Saint George is the patron Saint of Catalunya and they celebrate this special day each year. It is based on the story of Saint George and the Dragon.
A Saint George and the Dragon themed street at the Gracia Festival which you can read more about here
It is the Catalan equivalent of Valentine’s Day.
It is known as El Dia de la Rosa and El Dia del Libro which translates as ‘The day of the Rose’ and ‘The day of the book’. This is due to the tradition where girls would receive a rose and boys would receive a book. It doesn’t necessarily have to be from your boyfriend or girlfriend, friends, families and even colleagues give these gifts and now people are creating new traditions where both males and females give and receive both roses and books.
The day is celebrated on the streets of Barcelona and every town and village in Catalonia. Stalls fill the streets and plazas selling roses of all colours, typically given with a sprig of wheat and wrapped with the Catalan flag and books for the whole family. The sellers are ready from the morning before work begins and stay out until the end of the day so you can wander the streets and buy them for your loved ones any time of the day. Millions of roses and books are sold on this day each year. The streets with the most stalls will be La Rambla and Passeig de Gracia and the squares with the most will be Plaza Catalunya and Plaza de Sant Jaume. Although you will find them all over the city, which is lovely.
Plaza de Sant Jaume in Barcelona on Sant Jordi
One of Barcelona’s most famous buildings – Casa Batllo designed by Antoni Gaudi always gets dressed up for Diada de Sant Jordi – which I love! Each balcony is adorned with red roses for the special day and is well worth a visit to see them!
(This year 2019 it is sadly not the case as it is currently being renovated for the summer – however I’m sure next year will be business as usual.) You can see beautiful photos of the roses all over Casa Batllo which I took when I lived there below:
I was so fortunate to celebrate Saint George’s Day in Barcelona with loved ones each year I lived there. I celebrated it with friends, the children I taught and I was even lucky enough to receive the famous Spanish book ‘El Principito’ from one of my lovely Catalan colleagues which is still special to me today.
I truly hope that one day you will be able to experience the beautiful Diada de Sant Jordi for yourself and to you I say Feliz Diada de Sant Jordi!
I hope you enjoyed this article about the Diada de Sant Jordi! Have you ever celebrated this special day? Tell me your stories in the comments below!
The Wee Wanderer x x