Barcelona's Sant Jordi Festival Kicks Off with Grand Celebration

Barcelona's iconic Sant Jordi festival celebrates books, roses, and Catalan culture with a record-breaking 435 stalls, author signings, and cultural events across the city.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Barcelona's Sant Jordi Festival Kicks Off with Grand Celebration

Barcelona's Sant Jordi Festival Kicks Off with Grand Celebration

Barcelona's famous Sant Jordi festival, also known as the 'Catalonia's festival of books and roses', kicked off today, April 23, 2024, with a grand celebration featuring book and rose stalls, author signings, and cultural events throughout the city. The festival, which celebrates Saint George's Day, the feast of the region's patron saint, is a major cultural event in Barcelona.

This year, the city is hosting a record-breaking 435 stands selling books and roses. The city center has been closed to traffic to accommodate the festivities. Celebrations of books and roses can be found all over the Catalan territory, with the festival being part of worldwide celebrations of Catalan culture and literature, featuring 300 events in 200 cities.

The Catalan version of the legend of Sant Jordi says that after the knight slayed the dragon, a rosebush grew from the beast's blood, and Sant Jordi gave a princess one of the roses. Tradition dictates that on Dia de Sant Jordi, women receive a rose and men receive a book, though the gender roles are now interchangeable.

Why this matters: The Sant Jordi festival is a cherished tradition in Catalonia that celebrates literature, love, and Catalan culture. The event draws visitors from around the world and highlights the importance of books and reading in society.

In addition to the book and rose stalls, the festival features poetry readings, workshops, traditional dances, and other cultural events. Notable authors participating this year include David Walliams, Won-Pyung Sohn, and Mercedes Ron. "The Sant Jordi festival is a wonderful celebration of books, culture, and love," said Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau. "It's a day when the city comes alive with a shared passion for literature and the joy of giving roses to loved ones."

Key Takeaways

  • Barcelona's Sant Jordi festival celebrates books, roses, and Catalan culture.
  • The festival features 435 book and rose stalls, author signings, and cultural events.
  • Tradition dictates women receive roses and men receive books, though roles are interchangeable.
  • The festival draws visitors worldwide and highlights the importance of books and reading.
  • Notable authors participating include David Walliams, Won-Pyung Sohn, and Mercedes Ron.