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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.

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
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 DayProvincial HolidayCáceres
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
2026ThuApr 23St George's DayLocal observanceCatalonia

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