Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

Feliç diada de Sant Jordi


I usually don’t commemorate holidays here, but I’ve had this post scheduled for months just so I could share this lovely rose with you.

Genetically engineered Catalan flag rose

Genetically engineered Catalan flag rose

Sant Jordi (St. George) is the patron saint of Catalunya and every year, the whole country (region, if you’re nationalist) celebrates with an all-day party. Men traditionally give women flowers and women give men books. These activities are practically compulsory and the sidewalks and plaças are taken over completely by people selling both gifts from stands large and small. (Click for bigger images.)

Obviously, I think the men get the better end of the bargain since a book is a great gift and flowers are stinky and dead, but, when in Rome…

Over the years I was teaching in Barcelona, I got a lot of roses on Sant Jordi like the one above. It was actually kind of cute to get one from little boys since I was clearly the first non-relative to receive one. (When I got home, I’d always give them to my roommates.)

Travel watch

Mid-April is a perfect time to visit Barcelona. The weather is very good (it supposedly never rains on Sant Jordi) and people are in high spirits because the city looks beautiful all decked out in flags and ribbons and books.

Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

4 thoughts on “Feliç diada de Sant Jordi

  1. Thanks again…learned something today! It is indeed an interesting tradition and I agree with you that I would prefer to get a book rather than a rose…

    • The Brits will tell you it’s St. George’s day (also celebrated there), but I try not to engage in arguments with them. Both legends portray George/Jordi as a dragon slayer and, if you’ve been to Catalunya, you can determine for yourself which landscape was most likely to support a huge reptile beast. h

  2. That’s so cool! I was kind of familiar with the holiday, but I’ve never seen pictures of the day in action, so to speak. Thanks for the info on traveling to Barcelona in April–I’m trying to decide when to go there next.

    • The best time, imho, is just after the Easter holidays. People will be most friendly, having just had a long break from work, prices will be lower and the weather will be cool enough in the evenings to warrant a jacket but not raining (winter) or scorching hot (summer). h

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