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By Regina Winkle-Bryan
Nancy and I love Sant Jordi’s Day, the Catalan equivalent to Valentine’s Day. Celebrated every April 23rd, it is a day for lovers, books, and red roses.
The tradition is that men buy one single red rose for the important women in their lives, and women buy books for the men in their lives. You may be asking yourself (especially if you are a woman), “What’s up with that!?” Yes, it does seem a bit unfair, a rose for a book. Don’t women like to read?
Nowadays this tradition has changed some and women are raking in both the roses and the books.
Depending on how many admirers she has, a woman may end up with a nice bouquet of red roses come by evening time on Sant Jordi’s (I had one good rose year where I got about six roses, and then another year when no one gave me a rose, which was a bit depressing).
And the books! All the bookshops around the city set up stands on the sidewalks and sell books to passersby in the open air. Authors are also set up selling and autographing their books in the city center and some authors give talks and readings at cafes and bookshops .
It’s best to head to Pl. Catalunya early, as the place gets packed around 6:00pm. La Rambla and many other streets are cut off to cars and buses on this holiday, making strolling hand-in-hand easier. Enjoy!