The festival of Sant Jordi is one of the most beautiful festivals in Barcelona. This celebration is a sample of the true personality of the Catalans, who tend to cling to their traditions, love their culture and feel proud of their region. The festival of Sant Jordi is based on a beautiful legend that speaks of courage, love and honor. Today, ShBarcelona will share everything about the celebration of Sant Jordi 2019 with you. Once you know more, you wouldn’t want to miss it for the world!
Related article: Activities to Welcome Spring
Discover the legend of Sant Jordi in Barcelona
Every April 23 Barcelona celebrates one of the most colorful and popular festivals in the Catalan capital. Despite not being a holiday, thousands of locals stroll through the streets of Barcelona this spring, dressed in red and black on white. The streets of almost all areas of the city, but especially those in the center such as the Paseo de Gracia or the Ramblas, are filled with booths full of books and stalls with red roses. The legend of Sant Jordi commemorates the death of Jorge de Capadocia on April 23, in the year 303. The story unfolds in the land of Montblanc, where a fierce dragon frightened the entire community. The voracious dragon had been devouring people and entire herds of cattle for years, and everyone feared for their life. One day the king decided to come up with a solution to the dilemma: in order for everyone to be able to lead a normal life, they had to avoid the dragon getting hungry, and that’s why it was decided that each day they would offer the beast a randomly chosen victim, so the rest of the villagers could live in peace, or at least for that day.
Related article: Cheapest bookstores in Barcelona
As luck would have it, the first person offered in sacrifice was the king’s own daughter. The young and beautiful princess of course panicked, but also all the people who loved her, so they asked the king for mercy. But he, faithful to his decisions and chance, much to his regret, sent his beloved daughter to the dragon’s cave to be devoured by him. Suddenly, a knight on a white horse appeared. His name was Jordi, and his mission was to save the princess and the entire population of Montblanc. He fought heroically against the dragon, and he finally managed to pierce it with his long sword. As a result the knight did not only defeat the dragon and free the entire population, but he also saved the princess from being sacrificed. The king was grateful and wished for his beautiful daughter to be the knight’s bride, but being a gentleman, he did not want to accept this gift, and so he took his white horse and left. After a few days a rosebush of red flowers appeared at the exact place where the knight had killed the dragon, and the colour of the flowers was similar to the blood of the slain dragon. Deriving from this story, lovers give their partner a red rose. But there is more, as this day also coincides with the death of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare on April 23. And that is why the streets of Barcelona are filled with books. Signatures from the best authors who have just released their work can be obtained. And the publishing market often matches the release of new books with this exact date.
What do you think of the legend of Sant Jordi?
About the author
Daniella enjoys everything the city of Barcelona has to offer. She writes, translates and loves discovering Catalonia and its beautiful nature.