On April 23rd, one of the most special and original days in Catalonia is celebrated in the streets of Barcelona: Sant Jordi. A celebration that combines romance, culture and tradition, in which Barcelona becomes a huge outdoor bookstore and flower shop.

This day is when the Catalans celebrate their patron saint, Sant Jordi (or St. George in Spanish), taking to the streets to fulfill a curious popular tradition where there is no shortage of roses, books and lovers. If you want to know what it consists of, what its origin is and how you can enjoy this unique day in Barcelona, we invite you to read on!


Learn the origin of the Sant Jordi tradition

April 23, throughout Catalonia, is a date that commemorates the legend of St. George, the patron saint of Catalonia since the fifteenth century. According to the famous legend, the knight killed with his sword the dragon that terrorized the people, and saved the princess. At that very moment, from the dragon's blood grew a rose bush of beautiful red roses. red rosesand Sant Jordi gave the princess one of them as a gift.


The Rose and the Book: Symbols of Love and Culture

April 23rd, Sant Jordi's Day, is also known as the Day of the Book in honor of the death of two great writers: Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Therefore, in Catalonia this celebration brings together culture and romanticism and romanticism in equal parts, represented with the elements of the book and the rose.

Traditionally, men give a rose to women and women give a book to men. However, these roles are no longer always followed and it is becoming more and more common for both men and women to give each other books and roses. Regardless of gender.


The streets are filled with people strolling among stalls of books and roses, looking for a gift not only for their partner, but also for friends and family, and there is joy and color all over the city!


Activities to enjoy Sant Jordi in Barcelona

During Sant Jordi, you can stroll around Barcelona and enjoy the festive atmosphere while choosing a rose or a book to give as a gift. It's an unforgettable experience! You'll find stalls all over the city, but if you want to experience Sant Jordi in all its splendor, you should go to the must-see streets like Las Ramblas, Paseo de Gracia, Paseo de Sant Joan and Rambla de Cataluña, and to squares like Plaça de Catalunya or Plaça Sant Jaume, in front of Barcelona's city hall.


Also, don't miss the opportunity to visit the many bookstores and participate in book signings with your favorite authors! Throughout the city you will find stalls with the latest publications and where you can see established authors signing copies.

Barcelona offers a wide range of literary activities, such as live performances, workshops, recitals and concerts, poetry readings, open doors or free visits to buildings like the city hall, the Palau Güell, the modernist site of Sant Pau... Many cultural institutions organize special events! We recommend you to visit the official website to see all the activities planned for 2024.