Discover Sant Jordi’s Day in the Catalan capital

April 23 is an especially romantic day in Catalonia. Books, roses and love fill the air. The Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous avenue, is covered with rose petals. So where does all this romance come from?

It is none other than Saint George’s Day, or Sant Jordi’s Day in the Catalan language. The festival has evolved from a mixture of traditions, the most popular being the legend of Saint George slaying a dragon, and therefore saving the King’s daughter. Thanks to his heroic feat, Saint George was named patron saint of Catalonia since the 15th century, and Sant Jordi in Barcelona became one of the greatest festivities in the city.

The medieval Saint George chapel would soon host a rose fair, making George the most romantic of European saints, still inspiring sweethearts centuries later.

The Legend: Sant Jordi, the dragon, the princess and the rose bush

Once upon a time, there was a dragon that lived in Catalonia