Barcelona comes alive on April 23rd for the celebration of Sant Jordi, a Catalan holiday that honors the patron saint of Catalonia. On this day, the city is adorned with the senyera, the Catalan flag, and the streets are filled with vibrant flower stalls and bookstores. This celebration has become a national day, highlighting Catalan culture and traditions.
To commemorate this special occasion, join us on our Rooftop for a concert and experience the festive spirit of Sant Jordi. Don't miss the opportunity to participate in the tradition of gifting roses and books to your loved ones, which has been part of this celebration since the 16th century. Discover why Sant Jordi has been the most celebrated cultural and patriotic day in Barcelona and Catalonia, from the 16th century until the 19th century, during the rise of the cultural and political movement known as the Renaixença. Get your tickets now and join us for a beautiful evening! Tickets available
Here are some interesting facts about Sant Jordi:
- The first association to books related to Sant Jordi back to the 1920s. Vicent Clavel Andrés, a writer from Valencia and the director of the Cervantes publishing house, suggested organising a festival to promote books in Catalonia to the Cambra Oficial del Llibre de Barcelona and the Gremi d'Editors i Llibreters.
- Held in Barcelona in 1929, booksellers decided to set up stalls in the streets, to present their new publications and encourage reading. The initiative was so successful they decided to change the date and establish 23rd April as Book Day.
- Traditionally, the nobility and upper classes would take part in a mass in the Sant Jordi chapel at the Palau de la Generalitat on April 23rd, coinciding with a romantic Rose Fair also held at the palace.
- Sant Jordi is often referred to as the Valentine’s Day for Catalans since both men and women gift a token of their love.
- April 23rd is the day when William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes are said to have died, both in 1626. This convergence of the passing of such significant writers was the reason the date of Spain’s Day of the Book was changed in 1930 from October 7th.
- In 1995, April 23rd was declared the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day.
- Book sales on the day of Sant Jordi represent between five and eight percent of annual sales in Catalunya.