The 23rd of April, “Diada de Sant Jordi” (or Saint George’s Day in English) is one of the most important days in the Catalan calendar. During the following days we’re going to post information on this very special day, so stay posted to find out all about it!
We’re going to start with the Legend of Sant Jordi, a story known all over Catalonia, and even though several versions can be found, the basis is the same.
According to legend, there was a terrifying dragon located in the village of Montblanc, south-west of Barcelona. The dragon was always hungry, so the people in the village gave him one animal a day to keep it from attacking the village. However, one day the dragon ate the last of the animals, and then it started eating the people of the village too. In order to satisfy the hunger of the dragon, the people of the village decided to randomly chose a person every day to be sacrificed to the beast.
One day the princess’ name came up, and although that made the King very sad, he sent her to the dragon. But just when the dragon was about to eat the princess, a brave and handsome knight, known as Sant Jordi, rode into town and killed the beast with his spear, saving her life.
From the blood of the dragon, there grew a rose bush, and Sant Jordi took a red rose and gave it to the princess as a sign of his love. Everybody in the village was very happy the dragon was dead and they lived pacefully ever after
This is why on Sant Jordi’s Day men give a rose to their loved ones (usually girlfriend or wife, and also to mother and sisters). Thousands of roses are sold on Sant Jordi’s Day, and although they are traditionally red, you can buy them in all kinds of colours (and prices!). Traditionally, the rose always comes with a wheatear and a catalan flag either on the wrapping or the ribbon. And you? Are you going to buy any roses on Sant Jordi’s day? Let us know in the comments!
You can read other versions of the legend here: