Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Legend of Sant Jordi

Today I received a lovely surprise, a red rose for me and one for my daughter. You see amongst our neighbors we have a family that moved into our community at the beginning of the year, they are originally from Catalonia. They are super sweet and fun to hang out with. Today is the day they celebrate Sant Jordi day in their culture and because I've asked so much about this tradition they've included us in the celebration. 

What is Sant Jordi Day?

The Legend of Sant Jordi is originally from Catalonia Spain, there was a dragon that was threatening the kingdom. This dragon demanded to be fed one inhabitant from the kingdom per day, after a while the town grew tired and decided that they would chose the next victim by a drawing. In the drawing the King's daughter was the winner. The King was so desperate to spare his daughter's life that he promised his daughter's hand in marriage to the brave knight that would kill said dragon. 

Sant Jordi rode his horse to battle and kill the dragon. He slayed the dragon by stabbing his sword on the side of the dragon, blood flowed from the dragon and from that blood grew red roses just like the dragon's blood and the thorns were from the dragon's scales. Sant Jordi cut a rose and offered it to the princess as a symbol of love.

How is it celebrated?

There are two traditions on this particular holiday, since it is also the day that Shakespeare was born and Cervantes was buried it is also National Book Day. The tradition is that on April 23rd men give the women in their life {mother, wife, girlfriend, daughters and even co-workers} a red rose and women give the men in their life a book.

To celebrate the traditions many civic and cultural entities sell roses and books on the street. In Montblanc for example each year they represent theatrically the legend of Sant Jordi, dragon included! They build one made of cardboard. Here is a video I was shared about the Sant Jordi celebration, truly spectacular!{It is in Catalan, however if you may understand what is going on} I'm adding a trip to Montblanc to my travel bucket list for sure. 

As you already know I love learning about traditions, holidays and different cultures. When I first heard about Sant Jordi {back in February} I asked so many questions that I probably bored them, but it was my need to learn and know more about Catalonian culture/traditions. 

Do you have a holiday/tradition you recently learned about? 


  1. Yes! Today on your blog I learned about Sant Jordi. I am also fascinated by different cultural traditions...thanks for this informative post! Happy Sant Jordi!!! :)

    1. Happy Sant Jordi Veronica! Thank you, I'm so happy to be able to share what I learn and for readers like yourself to enjoy it :D

  2. That's such a neat tradition; flowers and books would be 2 of my favorite things to get (and to give!). Can't wait to hear more from you (and from your new friends from Catalonia)

    1. Thank you Ann, they are very fun and always willing to share about their culture and food which is super delicious! :D