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St George's Day in Spain

Quick Facts

St George's Day is an occasion for people in Catalonia to give loved ones a rose and a book.

Local names

NameLanguage
Día de San JorgeSpanish
St George's DayEnglish
St. GeorgGerman

St George's Day 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

St George's Day 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015
List of dates for other years

Many Catalonian men present their female relatives with roses on St George's Day (Día de San Jorge) in Spain. The day is celebrated on April 23 each year. Lovers also swap gifts of books and roses on this day.

Isolated pile of books and pink roses

St George's Day is a time for giving books, roses and other gifts to loved ones.

©iStockphoto.com/Natelle Buklanov

What do people do?

Many people go to festive markets to buy books and flowers, particularly roses, to give to their loved ones on St George's Day. These markets are held in the center of towns and villages, particularly Barcelona. They often include other cultural and literary events, such as book signings and readings of classical Spanish or Catalonian literature.

Many men traditionally present their grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, wives, girlfriends, daughters and other female relatives with roses. Many lovers may present each other with books, roses and other gifts.

Public life

April 23 is not a public holiday in the autonomous community of Catalonia. Many businesses, stores and other organizations are open as usual and public transport services operate to their normal schedule. However, special flower and book markets are held in the center of many cities, towns and villages. Some roads may be closed to accommodate these and there may be extra traffic congestion.

In the autonomous community of Aragon, April 23 is a public holiday known as the Day of Aragon. In the autonomous community of Castile and León, April 23 is a public holiday known as the Day of Castile and León. St George's Day is not a public holiday in the rest of Spain on April 23.

Background

St George was was a soldier in the Roman army. He is best known for slaying a dragon in the town of Silene somewhere in North Africa. In doing this, he saved the life of princess. St George's Day was a public holiday in the autonomous community of Aragon until 2007. There,  April 23 is now known as the Day of Aragon.  St George's Day is also celebrated in other places worldwide, including England. The day also ties in with World Book and Copyright Day.

Symbols

Books and roses are the main symbols of St George's Day in Catalonia. A sprig of wheat is often tied to a rose with a piece of red and yellow striped ribbon. This symbolizes the Senyera, a red and yellow stripped flag. This is an ancient symbol of Catalonia and forms the modern flag of this region.

St George's Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
MonApr 231990St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
TueApr 231991St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
ThuApr 231992St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
FriApr 231993St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
SatApr 231994St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
SunApr 231995St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
TueApr 231996St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
WedApr 231997St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
ThuApr 231998St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
FriApr 231999St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
SunApr 232000St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
MonApr 232001St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
TueApr 232002St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
WedApr 232003St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
FriApr 232004St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
SatApr 232005St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
SunApr 232006St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
MonApr 232007St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
WedApr 232008St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
ThuApr 232009St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
FriApr 232010St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
SatApr 232011St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
MonApr 232012St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
TueApr 232013St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
WedApr 232014St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
ThuApr 232015St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
SatApr 232016St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
SunApr 232017St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
MonApr 232018St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
TueApr 232019St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia
ThuApr 232020St George's DayLocal holidayCatalonia

Other holidays in April 2014 in Spain

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