Today is a very special day. It’s full of symbols and traditions for many countries in Europe as well as the world of literature. On this day in the same year, three important authors, CERVANTES, SHAKESPEARE and INCA GARCILASO DE LA VEGA all died . So, it was a sensible choice for UNESCO to pay tribute not only to these authors but also to books on the World Book and Copyright Day.
La Diada de Sant Jordi is a very popular Catalan tradition, it’s Barcelona’s Valentine’s Day. In the Middle Ages this was a romantic day to honour romantic love and respect for the loved ones and those who are respected. Men gave their inamoratas their true love roses.
The Festival of the Rose has its origins in Saint George‘s legend. It is said that the patron saint of Catalonia was a brave knight who slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful princess. From the dragon’s blood sprouted a rosebush and the hero plucked the most beautiful rose for the princess. Since 15th Century, roses have been given as a symbol of love and since as recently as 1923 this custom has been interwined with the giving of a book.
Saint George also became patron saint of England. Howevere, this is like any other day and they don’t hold any special celebration.