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St George's Day in Spain

Many Catalonian men present their female relatives with roses on St George's Day (Sant Jordi or 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.

Is St George's Day a Public Holiday?

St George's Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015ThuApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2016SatApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2017SunApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2018MonApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2019TueApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2020ThuApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2021FriApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2022SatApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2023SunApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2024TueApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia
2025WedApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia

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