Monday, April 23, 2007

Day of books and roses

Bienvenidos, young lovahs! It’s The Day of Lovers—are you perky and pervy already? :P Of course I’m not talking about bloody VD. *rolls eyes* Today is La Diada de Sant Jordi, also known as Dia de la Rosa (Day of the Rose) or Dia del Llibre (Day of the Book) which is a Catalan holiday celebrated on April 23 similar to VD—except, it’s muchos better!

Patron saint of Catalonia, knight-errant St. George allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful princess (I really hope not sexually :S) south of Barcelona. From the dragon’s blood sprouted a rosebush (no idea how), from which the hero plucked the prettiest for the princess. Hence, the Rose Festival is celebrated in Barcelona since the Middle Ages to honor chivalry and all that lovin’. Weird? I guess. Romantic? Oh, c’mon—he slew a fucking dragon for her!

In 1923, the lovers’ fest merged with International Book Day to mark the anniversary of the simultaneous deaths of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. More than 4 million roses and *gasp* half a million books are sold in Catalonia on Sant Jordi’s Day. Men give their inamoratas roses and the ladies give books in return. Pretty sure there are snogging and shagging here and there as well LOL.

All over Barcelona, Sant Jordi’s Day erupts like a joyful romp with a willing love slave. *g* Hundreds of stands of roses and bookstalls, lovers everywhere, 24-hour reading of Don Quixote and authors sign books! The Sardana (national dance of Catalonia) will be performed throughout the day in the Plaça Sant Juame, while the Generalitat, its patio filled with roses, opens its doors to the public. There are also street performers and musicians to nearly every public square and plaza.

Y’know, if you think about it, this is verra unfair. *sniff* Why why WHY do Catalans get books and this oh-so-fun fiesta while I get crappy VD cards and a stupid naked perv with bow and arrow who probably got herpes from an elf!? The injustice, I tell ya!!!

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18 comment(s):

Blogger Jolie said...

This Sant Jordi's Day must be a really fun day. Look at the swarm of people on the streets!

This is very interesting. I'd rather have a book than a rose. How come only Barcelona celebrates this holiday? Everyone should do this, I think it's wonderful.

4/23/2007 12:07:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, today is St. George's Day in England (similar to the Irish's St. Patrick's Day) and definitely the same St. George here (DRAGONS!!). They celeberate it by wearing red and white... and being patriotic, possibly singing anthems. Regrettably, no roses or books :(

Not an official holiday, though, even though a newspaper said 80% of those questioned wanted it to be!

4/23/2007 12:59:00 PM  

Blogger Polly King said...

Harlot, LOL. I have never been to Barcelona and I've never heard of this tradition but this is awesome. I don't think we even have a holiday that celebrates books. Festivity on the streets, books everywhere... brilliant.

4/23/2007 01:27:00 PM  

Anonymous Mikal said...

That's so cool. A holiday to buy books! (Not that you need a holiday to necessarily buy books, but whatever).

4/23/2007 03:41:00 PM  

Anonymous Estel said...

Harlot!!!! You've remembered!!!
;-))) Happy to know that our beautiful diada has a place in your blog. You deserved to be here.
Moltes gràcies noies! En el fons sou collonudes!!!!

4/23/2007 03:49:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Here in Madrid the sidewalks were full of tables with discounted books. No roses though. And the books here are incredibly expensive So I don't buy them LOL

4/23/2007 03:54:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Estel! Glad to head from you. :D Of course i remember. Thanks to you, i'm now jealous of Catalans every April 23. :P So how's your Sant Jordi's Day? I hope you've got a lot of good books and done a lot of snogging! LOL

4/23/2007 04:28:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

That is so cool! Books and romance! What can be better than that?

4/23/2007 05:58:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

What a great holiday! I've never heard of that celebration but I vote we replace Valentine's Day with it. LOL

4/23/2007 06:32:00 PM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

This is fab! Lovers exchanging roses and books. Based from those pictures, it does look like a fun holiday. :D

4/23/2007 07:03:00 PM  

Anonymous Ally said...

I've been to Barcelona but I didn't hear about this holiday. Very cool!

4/23/2007 07:14:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Kewl holiday! So this is 24 hours of celebration on the streets of Barcelona? I hope dancing and drinking are on the list too! :P

4/23/2007 08:06:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

That's an awesome holiday! Almost as good as Deandays (Thursdays). :D

North America should embrace such a tradition.

4/24/2007 02:25:00 AM  

Anonymous ~Cassie~ said...

Half a million books sold in one day? That's a lot!

We should have this holiday in the US! I have to agree, it's 'muchos' better than Valentines.

4/24/2007 11:15:00 AM  

Blogger Jordis said...

I think love and the literary word are always connected. That's why we have poetry. :)

Fabulous holiday! I'm with those who want to replace Valentines with this La Diada De Sant Jordi, LOL.

4/24/2007 11:27:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

RE: love and the literary word are always connected

I have to agree on this. Don't affairs of the heart usually lead to exchanges of letters and poetry? And now books. :D

4/24/2007 11:54:00 AM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Ah, poetry. Why is it always associated with love? Personally, I never liked poems, and I don't think my feelings would ever be swayed because of it.

4/25/2007 03:23:00 AM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

What an amazing holiday! Do we even have one where people exchange books? Just the thought of hundreds of bookstalls makes me giddy, LOL.

4/25/2007 03:36:00 AM