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Sant Jordi Day
From: 2014.04.23 To: 2014.04.23
This is one of the most eagerly awaited and celebrated Catalan holidays. Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia and according to the popular tale, he was a Roman military man born in the 3rd Century in Cappadocia, Turkey. He became a martyr when, following the given orders of emperor Diocletian, he refused to persecute the Christians, and for this he was decapitated by his contemporaries. The version of the most popular legend in Catalonia places the martyr in Montblanc (in the Catalan region named Conca de Barberà). According to the popular tale, a terrible dragon lived there, and it frightened all the people. In order to calm it down, every day a person chosen by lottery was given to the monster as a sacrifice. However, one day fingers pointed to the king’s daughter. It was then when a kind knight appeared, faced the dragon and killed it, saving the princess from her tragic destiny. Tradition points out that in the place where the dragon shed its blood, a beautiful rose tree with red roses grew. In the 18th Century, Sant Jordi’s Day became popular as a day for Catalan autonomy and today it is an important, public-spirited and cultural event filled with overexcitement. For Sant Jordi’s Day, lovers exchange a rose and a book as a token of love. It was in 1926 when Sant Jordi’s Day was first made to coincide with the Book Day to mark the occasion of the birth of Miguel de Cervantes and the death of Shakespeare and Josep Pla. On Sant Jordi’s Day it is highly recommended to walk around the center of Barcelona, which turns into a huge outdoor bookstore, flooded with stands of books where we will find the latest works and many acclaimed authors signing copies of their books.