Day of Roses and Liberty

Anna Garofano Nogueras (Catalunya, AC 06-08)

The legend of Sant Jordi says that in the village of Montblanc, in Catalunya, their inhabitants lived terrified because of the existence of a vengeful dragon. Every day, they had to give the terrifying creature something to eat. Montblanc started giving all their cattle, and then they gave their sheep, their cows, their horses, and all the animals they could find. However, one day they had nothing else to offer to the dragon, and so the king decided that every day someone would be offered as a sacrifice through randomly picking a name out of a hat. The first victim chosen was the princess. The king was heartbroken, but the princess accepted her destiny, and she left the city to go and faced the dragon. But when the dragon was about to eat her, the brave knight Jordi came riding his horse, saved the princess from the clutches of the dragon, and stabbed the dragon right trough his heart. The dragon’s blood spilled the floor, and a rosebush grew miraculously from it. Sant Jordi picked up a rose and gave it to the princess. Sant Jordi  is Catalunya’s patron, and the 23rd of April is his festivity. For this reason, during Sant Jordi’s Day, men give roses to women as a sign of love, and women give books in return, in a tradition that celebrates national pride, love and culture. The streets are filled with thousands of people buying roses, everybody has a book in their hands, and multiple writing contests and poetry-reading happen in this celebrating mood. Authors sign their books during the whole day in streets that smell like roses. The Ramblas, in Barcelona, become an unexpected bookshop and flower shop for a day, as well as in most of the other cities in the nation. Catalans buy books, give flowers, participate in multiple cultural events, and remind themselves of the importance of the Catalan language and culture.

-United World College Student Magazine- 












One thought on “Day of Roses and Liberty

  1. Hi! The St. Jordi’s day is for the catalan people one of the most important days of all the year; and I think it is really nice coz many perople leaves their moral layers to live a passionate day sharing love and creating culture treasures (many people and students -especially- participate in writting activities as well as begining new readings -books-).

    I’m Catalan and I’m going to the US-UWC the next year 😉


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