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Sant Jordi – Barcelona’s festival of the book and the rose

By | 10 March, 2017 | 0 comments

Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Cataluña. His Saint’s Day is the biggest festive celebration for the Catalans and especially for the city of Barcelona.  It brings together various traditions and customs with people dressing in festive clothing and enjoying the cheerful atmosphere on the streets of Barcelona. Visit Barcelona on the weekend of April 22nd and embark on a fiesta marked by the legends and traditions that begins a journey full of romanticism and culture. At hcc hotels we join in with the celebrations of Sant Jordi by giving away a red rose to all guests staying at our hotels on April 23rd.

23rd April is a day marked on the calendar of many Spaniards. Aragón and Castilla y León celebrate their community day and Cataluña honours its patron, Sant Jordi. But without doubt, April 23rd is especially festive in Barcelona. Unlike many others, Barcelona enjoys two festivals, both loaded with symbolism: Sant Jordi, patron of Cataluña and, for many, the patron of lovers and the festive day of the book. The two celebrations convert Barcelona into the ideal destination to experience an unforgettable weekend.

One of the key focal points of these celebrations is Las Ramblas. This artery of Barcelona is filled with book stalls and flower stands to comply with one of the most deeply-rooted traditions: that the men give a red rose to the women who in turn give a book back to the men. The tradition has led to the renaming of Sant Jordi as the day of lovers in Cataluña. No less significant is the popularity of the day of the book. The love of reading in our city means Barcelona is the ideal place to find authentic literary jewels at checkpoints right across different parts of the city. Barcelona becomes a city full of events and colour on this special date.

Accommodation

To experience the spirit of Sant Jordi there is nothing better than staying at hcc montblanc, located just 6 minutes walk from Las Ramblas, at the heart of the book fair. No less interesting is the accommodation in a historic building such as hcc st. moritz, located a 10 minute walk from the main avenue of Barcelona. In practically the same time you can walk to get to the hcc taber and the hcc regente. All highly recommendable accommodation where you can enjoy a memorable weekend starring legends and traditions.

For those who choose to celebrate Sant Jordi as the day of lovers, Barcelona is the ideal destination. There’s no better way to surprise your partner or to celebrate the day of Sant Jordi as a family than with a menu specially designed for the occasion at the Racó del Montblanc. The menu is made up of the finest quality products, all typical of great Mediterranean cuisine. To begin, the chef offers duck confit cannelloni and foie gras with crème boletus or pineapple volcano with seafood and cocktail sauce. For the main course, diners can choose between sea bass fillets with calamari stew or round roast steaks with dried fruit. Finally, dessert comes in the form of tropical ice cream with strawberries dipped in chocolate or apple pie with its crisp aroma of cinnamon and crème anglaise. Certainly, dishes of haute cuisine at the very best prices.

Origins

The origins of the Sant Jordi festival go way back to the time of the death of the Knight Jordi, who was beheaded for refusing to comply with the order to persecute Christians. The cult to San Jordi escalated until 1456 when he was declared official patron saint of Cataluña. The tradition of giving a rose does not have an accurate source, but is thought to come from the fair of the roses celebrated at the Palau de la Generalitat on the day of Sant Jordi in the 15th century, when newly-weds and engaged couples came to the fair.

Sant Jordi is also a celebration of legends. In Montblanc, a dragon tormented the population. To avoid their attacks, a young girl chosen in a raffle was offered to him. But the raffle decided that the maiden to be delivered to him was a princess. So the Sant Jordi knight faced up to the dragon and killed him by stabbing him through the heart with his sword to save the princess. The blood of the dragon then gave life to a red rosebush, which led to the tradition of giving a red rose.

Legends aside, visiting Barcelona on the weekend of April 22nd gives you the opportunity to experience a holiday marked by red roses and the unmistakable aroma of flowers and books at a festival full of romanticism and culture.

Categories: barcelona, events

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