The morning of Sant Jordi's this year I happened to substitute a very early morning class, and from the moment I stepped onto the street (at 7am) I could feel the excitement in the air. Vendors were busy setting up stands on the most popular streets in the city to sell roses and books from. This was Las Ramblas:
By the time I returned to Las Ramblas for my afternoon lunch break, festivities were in full force...
One of the cuter parts of St. Jordi's is celebrating with the children. Pol, a 3-year old student of mine, has a fabulous Knight costume that he looks quite handsome in. Legend has it that a horrible dragon was demanding pretty girls to kill and eat... everyday! St. Jordi travelled very far to face the ferocious dragon and right before the dragon was about to eat the King's daughter, Jordi speared him in the heart. From the dragon's wound, a rose grew, and St. Jordi picked it to give to the Princess.
(My former student Abel
was the first to inform me about these details, which I really appreciated when later, with my younger students, I found myself coloring dead dragons with roses growing out of their hearts).
I didn't know, until after being in town for St. Jordi's, that Barcelona is the literary capital of the Spanish speaking world!!
(For a while, I considered moving to New York, the literary capital of the English speaking world, so I feel like it's another sign, that I am happily in Barcelona, and planning to stay for a long while...)
"By the end of the day, some four million roses and 400,000 books are purchased in the name of love, registering half of the total yearly book sales of Catalonia on this day alone!" -Don Quijote
p.s. I gave Dani Herman Hesse's Siddhartha :)