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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche.

The Feast of Saint George in Cataluña
23 April 2009 @ 12:20


Saint George’s day is very important throughout the Països Catalans. We can mention three of the most representative examples:
1- Most Catalan towns and villages celebrate a market of roses and books. In the main streets and squares there are stalls selling red roses and books - books are sold at a discount that day. 
The custom of offering flowers can be related to the old Greco-Roman feasts dedicated to the deity Flora, which were an exaltation of nature and spring; in the Middle Ages flowers were the prize of Jocs Florals, literary contests which had St. George as their patron.
The origin of the market of books dates from 1926, when April 23 was chosen as the "day of books" because Shakespeare and Cervantes had died that day. Although its coincidence with St. George’s day is fortuitous , the atmosphere of people walking and buying books and roses contributes to give a special character to the feast, specially in big towns and particularly in Barcelona.

2- There is a celebration of a Medieval Week in Mont Blanc, the ducal village in la Conca de Barberà, where, according to the legend, St. George defeated the Dragon. People take part in the celebration and they dress as in the Middle Ages and perform jobs from that period, tournaments, courts, etc. The most important act is the performance of the legend in front of the medieval walls of the village. The legend is performed by many people from Mont Blanc, and it attracts a lot of public.

3- In Alcoi, in the south of the Països Catalans, they celebrate a great feast called Moors and Christians in commemoration of a historical fact: the entrance of Catalans in Valencia to fight against Arabs. According to tradition, the victory of the Catalan army was due to the action of the knight St. George.

Information from:,%20Legends%20and%20Tales/catalonia/george/george.htm


By Maria L. de Castro


Saint George Fresco in Verona ( Italia)  by Sebastiá Giralt


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