>> Monday, 23 April 2012
According to Wikipedia, roses have been associated with this day since medieval times, but the giving of books is a more recent tradition originating in 1923, when a bookseller started to promote the holiday as a way to commemorate the nearly simultaneous deaths of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare on 23rd April 1616.
This year, it is expected that seven million roses (one at a time) and one and a half million books (a sum equal to 8% of annual turnover) will be sold on this day. There are many book signings and book launches on Sant Jordi, and many roses are sold to support charities.
Although it is in fact a working day, people fill the streets from morning to night and the atmosphere is festive and cheerful. If you ever plan to visit Barcelona, and want to see this city at its best, I strongly recommend you make your trip coincide with Sant Jordi Day, and take a walk through the Rambla.