Spending your holidays in Spain is always wonderful, but if you are in Catalonia during Sant Jordi, on April 23, you will enjoy this lovely celebration. It is a special day in which towns and villages of the region celebrate both, love and culture. Don’t wait any longer and book your ticket in Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation, visit Catalonia aboard one of our high-speed trains and spend some incredible moments with your loved one.
What is Sant Jordi?
There are a few explanations...
The most practical one is that in the 15th century, a rose fair took place on the day of Sant Jordi and many lovers, betrothed and young couples visited this fair, starting the tradition of offering a rose to women during this day.
La Rambla de Catalunya in Barcelona
During Sant Jordi it is common that women purchase a book for their couple, a tradition that goes back to the 1920s, when the director of the publishing house Cervantes proposed to organise an event to promote books in Catalonia. The chosen date was on October 7, but it was moved to April 23 in 1929.
Since then, the streets of Catalonia have been very busy on April 23; you can find rose vendors everywhere, and many book booths can be found in the city centre. The red rose is a symbol of love and is usually decorated with an ear of wheat representing fertility.
The most mystical explanation is a legend. It tells that a dragon was living in the kingdom and, after devouring all animals of the region, he attacked people and in order to survive, every day an inhabitant was drawn by lottery and sacrified to feed the monster... One day the princess was chosen, but then the knight Jordi saved her and killed the dragon.
Since then, Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia and also has become a symbol of the region. This is the reason why many people decorate their balconies with the Senyera, the Catalan flag, creating a very special atmosphere.
Sant Jordi in Barcelona
La Rambla de Catalunya in Barcelona
, the main place of the celebration of Sant Jordi is the Rambla de Catalunya and the Ramblas, where many writers can be found signing their latest book. There are also numerous booths offering entertainment, including story telling for kids.
Romantic places are not lacking in the Catalan capital, and we suggest ending this day in a beautiful restaurant, as many of them offer special menus for lovers.
Sant Jordi in Girona and Figueres
If there is one city that does not miss to celebrate Sant Jordi by decorating its streets with the colours of Catalonia, it is Girona
. In the Plaza Catalunya of Girona, as well as in the centre of Figueres, you can find many vendors of roses and books; and as it happens in Barcelona, many authors will dedicate their works
Another tradition is to enjoy an ice cream in La Gioconda or La Candela in order to celebrate the return of the warm days.
During Sant Jordi, many bands play in both cities, so, don't forget to check out the music program if you like music: traditional dancers of Sardanes offer spectacles on the Plaza de Independencia of Girona and the town hall square of Figueres.
Sant Jordi in Tarragona
La Rambla Nova in Tarragona
If you choose to visit Tarragona
during Sant Jordi, go directly to the Rambla Nova, where you will find booths with flowers and books, and socio-cultural activities.
Each district organizes its own activities, so it is a good opportunity to (re)discover the city in a different way. After this beautiful celebration, there is nothing better than to return to your home on board of one of our Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation trains and to immerse yourself in the book you have received for Sant Jordi.