11 — Sant Jordi
“La Diada de Sant Jordi”, April 23, is one of Catalunya's most special and memorable days, some may refer to it as the Catalan’s Valentines day. Tradition dictates that men give their lovers a rose on that day, and women present their partner with a book. However, Sant Jordi day (St.George day) begins way back.
The legends tells us the story of a dragon, able to poison the air and kill with his breath, terrorizing the inhabitants of a town. The residents tried to appease the dragon by offering him animals in sacrifice, until they began to run out. They soon had to find another type of sacrifice, so they decided to draw lots among all the residents. Regretfully the princess was selected, and her father, the king, accepted the result without considering exchanging her for another victim.
So the princess, dressed in white, headed to her fate. For her good luck, the knight Saint George, who was in love with her, appeared riding his horse with his sword in one hand and killed the dragon. From the blood that flowed from the lifeless body of the monster was born a red rose, which the gentleman handed to the princess.
As such, it became a tradition for the whole of Catalonia to fill with stands selling roses, which people buy to offer to their partners as a symbol of their love, or to declare it for the first time. At the same time, April 23 is also World Book Day, so apart from stands and gifts of roses, Catalonia is also taken over by stands and gifts of books.