April 23rd Barcelona celebrates Sant Jordi

If you are thinking of going to London or you are looking for flights to Paris, leave these ideas aside and stay in Barcelona to enjoy one of the most endearing days of the year in Barcelona: Sant Jordi’s day is celebrated.

april 23rd sant jordi's dayThis day is a unique blend of culture and romance, where the exchange of books and roses takes center stage. As the patron saint of Catalonia and Aragon in Spain, Sant Jordi is commemorated with various events and festivities throughout the country, but none as vibrant as those in Barcelona.

Origin and meaning of Sant Jordi

Legends tell that St. George, a Roman soldier, became a Christian martyr in the 4th century after saving a princess from a dragon. He is considered the patron saint of several places, including Catalonia and Aragon in Spain. Its story symbolizes the victory of good over evil and has been passed down from generation to generation, becoming an important part of Catalan culture. To commemorate, the festival of Sant Jordi was created on April 23, also known as the Day of the Book and the Rose.

The tradition of exchanging books and roses on this day began in the 1920s, when the Booksellers Association of Catalonia promoted the holiday to honor the deaths of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. It is said that the tradition of giving roses as a gift originated in the 15th century, when King Alfonso V of Aragon asked men to give roses to women as a token of affection and friendship. Today, book and rose stalls are spread throughout Catalonia, and the exchange of these two items is an important part of the Diada de Sant Jordi.

Celebrations in Barcelona

On April 23, the city of Barcelona comes alive to celebrate the vibrant Sant Jordi festivities. Colorful displays of books and roses, street performances and live music create a festive atmosphere that attracts both locals and visitors to the streets. A perfect day to celebrate culture and romance, the day is marked by stalls offering a variety of books and roses.

The highlight of the celebrations is the Barcelona Book Fair, an international event that attracts book lovers from all over the world. Here, visitors can browse the selection of works, from classic literature to contemporary bestsellers, and meet with authors for readings, signings and more.

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter also hosts Sant Jordi’s Day, a day of live music, street performers and traditional Catalan dances. Visitors can sample delicious local cuisine and participate in a range of cultural activities, providing an authentic insight into the city’s unique culture.

With its combination of book and rose stalls, literary events and cultural activities, Sant Jordi celebrations are a beloved tradition in Barcelona. Whether it’s browsing books, giving roses to loved ones or participating in the festivities, the day offers something for everyone.

Books and Roses

The exchange of books and roses is a unique tradition that takes place on a special day in Barcelona. On that day, the streets of the city are filled with stalls offering a wide variety of books and roses to both locals and visitors. This custom has its origin in the legend of Sant Jordi, where a knight defeated a dragon and from the blood of the beast grew a red rose. As a result, the rose became a symbol of love, and the tradition of exchanging roses on this day was born.

Every year, Passeig de Gràcia is transformed into a lively and festive celebration, with book stalls, rose vendors and street performers. People of all ages browse the books and admire the stunning roses, making it a must-see for anyone visiting Barcelona. This exchange of books and roses has become one of the most beloved customs in Catalonia.


Put aside the idea of leaving and stay in Barcelona to enjoy this great day!