Sunday, April 23, 2006

La diada de Sant Jordi, Barcelona

One of our lovely readers, Estel, sent us this email:

“I’m a habitual follower of your blog and I have something to explain to you. ... I’m from Barcelona (Spain), which is the capital city of a region called Catalonia. Catalonia, or Catalunya, is a different nation from the Spanish one. We speak a language called Catalan and have many cultural and national traditions. Some are really ugly and some are really nice. And on next Sunday the nicest of them will be taking place. In Sant Jordi’s Day (Saint George) we exchange red roses and books. Traditionally, it is lovers’ day (like Saint Valentine’s). But, instead of big presents, men give women a single red rose and women give men a book...”

After I read this letter, my first reaction was: What the hell? How come we have crappy Valentine’s Day with it’s stupid roses and half naked little elf—and Barcelona gets a cool day with books?!? Kind of unfair if you ask me. Hmph. Er, anyway, despite my shortcomings LOL, I’ve looked for more information about this Catalonian holiday which makes 6 million Spaniards run amock Barcelona from dawn till dusk. Here’s what I found:

According to the stories, Saint George, the patron Saint of Catalonia, “allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful princess south of Barcelona. From the dragon’s blood sprouted a rosebush, from which the hero plucked the prettiest for the princess.” Geesh. And I thought Trollop’s fascination with fucking was weird.

Also known as “The Day of Lovers,” La Diada de Sant Jordi is like Valentine’s Day with some uniquely Latin twists. ... In 1923, a smart bookseller started to promote the holiday as a way to honour the nearly simultaneous deaths of Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare on April 23, 1616. Barcelona is the publishing capital of the Spanish-speaking world and this heady one-two punch of love and literacy was quickly adopted.

On Bacelona’s principal street, Las Ramblas, and all over the city, hundreds of stands of roses and makeshift bookstalls have been hastily set up for the occasion. By the end of the day, some four million roses and 400,000 books will have been purchased in the name of love. You will be hard-pressed to find a woman without a rose in hand, and half of the total yearly book sales in Catalonia take place on this occasion.

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11 comment(s):

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Oh, this sounds like so much fun!!! But, you know, I'd rather a book over a crappy rose that will be dead by next morning. So I guess for me, I'd be getting the book and the guy the rose lol :P

Verra interesting indeed!

4/23/2006 05:14:00 PM  

Blogger Holly said...

I found this interesting as well....I'd so much rather have a book than a dumb old rose, too. I'll have to talk to MM about that...LOL

Hey, is it just me, or is your template a little wacky? I can only see about half of the left toolbar....I know one of the books you have on the sidebar is Kat Martin's Hot Rain (because I loved that book and have it in my collection) but I can only see:


I have FireFox, so is it a problem with me or with you??


4/23/2006 11:01:00 PM  

Anonymous Tart said...

Cool. Though I'd prefer the book to flowers too LOL.

Not sure what is up with the template either Holly, could be your screen? Seems okay on mine (except I can't comment on the tagboard thing - keeps moving away from me LOL).


4/24/2006 12:07:00 AM  

Anonymous Vixen said...

Tart the tag board is so contrary, don't you think? :)

I haven't had a problem, but that is a huge surprise since my computer usually causes me major stress.

I hope you get it worked out Tart, I miss you on there.

Oh, yeah and I would much rather get a book. Actually a gift card to a good store would be perfect.

4/24/2006 12:13:00 AM  

Blogger Holly said...

I'm not sure, Tart, because I'm not having a problem with any other site...just yours. It's strange. I'll check again in the morning at work and see then.

4/24/2006 12:23:00 AM  

Blogger nica ha said...

what a great holiday, i know my mom's going to love that one when i tell her about it, she's never without a good book in hand. although i'm sure she'll agree that the women should get books. we should have one that's more like you trade books you don't read anymore with someone you love, jeeze what am i saying i do that all the time, lol! sometimes it's easier and more fun to do that than going to the library or bookstore :)

4/24/2006 12:35:00 AM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...


I'll look into the firefox thing. But I can tell you from experience that firefox fucks up your IE and viceversa. When Harlot and I were designing first template (eaons ago) it drove us mad!!! I had to uninstall the bloody thing b/c it was fucking up my whole pc!!! I hate firefox lol :P

Anyway, will log on from a pc that has firefox and see how screen looks. In the mean time, try and check your IE/firefox settings. You might have your screen blown up over the standard size or maybe your font choice is too big? Also open your full pane, on the right top corner click on the maximize icon (next to minimize and close) and see if that works.

Will continue on my quest to make template accesible to all lol :P


4/24/2006 07:27:00 AM  

Blogger Holly said...

Hey Trollop,
I checked the template from my office, and still no go. I also double checked all of my firefox/ei settings and nada....I don't know what the deal is..*sigh*

Anyway, prolly, if no one else is having issues, it's just me. I'll keep working on it.

4/25/2006 10:34:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Hey Holly,

Don't know what's wrong, because i use IE and Firefox and i can see blog perfectly on both. :S I think it's the way you view your page?

But can you access tagboard thingy? :(

4/25/2006 10:41:00 PM  

Blogger Holly said...

Yep, the tagboard is fine, just the left sidebar is whacky...oh well, no worries.

4/26/2006 04:56:00 PM  

Anonymous spicyjellyfish said...

I lived in Barcelona for a few years, so I was able to experience this unique holiday firsthand. It's perfectly acceptable for a woman to receive a book AND a rose, so count the gals doubly lucky to have this holiday.

4/30/2006 04:22:00 PM