Every April 23rd, Barcelona has a party. They celebrate Sant Jordi’s day, an event that is deeply rooted in Catalan culture. Flowers and books are the stars of the day and everyone floods the streets to enjoy the activities they put on. Since it isn’t technically a holiday, all the businesses are open, contributing to an even more festive atmosphere. Planning to visit Barcelona around then? We encourage you to stay with us at our hotel close to Ciutat Vella that allows you to comfortable reach all the events.
What exactly does Sant Jordi’s day celebrate?
Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia, which is why April 23rd is such a big day for the region. To understand the origins of this celebration we have to rewind back to the 15th century, when the tradition was to put on a rose festival for the occasion. The festival was largely attended by young men hoping to buy flowers for their beloveds. However, several centuries later, April 23rd was also designated as the Day of the Book (which is celebrated throughout Spain), as it is the date when two literary greats died: Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare.
So the two traditions were fused into one day. That’s the origin of the tradition of men giving their girlfriends roses and women gifting books to their boyfriends.
Sant Jordi’s Day in Barcelona is a true party. Booksellers set up their displays in nearly every corner of the city, and the streets are filled with pedestrians and curious passersby wandering from stall to stall. At the same time, there are flowers everywhere, filling the streets with color and wonderful smells. April 23rd is one of the best days to walk through the capital city and soak in the positive energy.
Where to enjoy Sant Jordi’s Day in Barcelona
If you plan to be in Barcelona this April 23rd, it’s a good idea to know where the major activities will be taking place. The flower and book stalls are mostly concentrated in La Rambla, although you’ll also find them on the paseo de Grácia, making those two locations and the nearby plazas a required visit when you’re celebrating Sant Jordi’s day in 2020. Enjoy your stay at our guesthouse in Barcelona’s centre!