Where does the tradition of the Diada de Sant Jordi come from?
St. George's Day is Valentine's Day in Catalonia . The tradition of this day is the exchange of roses and books between lovers. These are ideal dates for a romantic getaway in one of our houses in Girona and the Costa Brava .
As every April 23, all the cities and towns of Catalonia are filled with stalls where you can buy roses and books . In larger towns such as Girona, Figueres and Olot It is also a good opportunity to get a dedication from one of the most well-known writers of today, to attend presentations and book signings that are organized and to walk the streets full of people, music and all kinds of activities everywhere of the territory.
This festival became popular from the 18th century onwards and became one of the most anticipated and celebrated events in Catalonia.
The legend of St. George
Tradition has it that from time to time, the most powerful of the dragons arrived in the town of Montblanc, eating all the herds in the area and frightening the entire population . Many knights tried to kill him but the dragon easily defeated them.
Faced with the terror that the dragon imposed on the village, the king decided to give the beast a couple of goods each day, which calmed the dragon and left the villagers alone for a few days. When the goods were finished, they gave him oxen and horses, and when they no longer had any more animals, he decided that, by drawing lots among all the inhabitants of the village, they would give one person to the dragon every day . The first name of the draw was that of the princess. Everyone burst into tears, but the princess went out to meet her fate . He said goodbye to his parents and the people of the village and went out of the walls to meet the famous dragon.
When the princess was near the dragon's lair, a young knight suddenly appeared before her , armed from head to toe and riding on a white horse. The princess begged the knight not to be exposed by her to certain death. He told her that her name was Jordi and that she came from far away to save her .
After a long struggle, the knight managed to injure with his spear the dragon under the left wing, straight to the heart, causing his death . From the place where the dragon shed his blood was born a beautiful rosebush of red roses like blood.
Saint George picked the most beautiful rose and offered it to the princess as a sign of love.