La Diada de Sant
George’s Day, also known as El dia de la Rosa (The Day of the
Rose) or El dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book) is a Catalan
holiday held on 23 April, with similarities to Valentine’s Day and some unique
twists that reflect the antiquity of the celebrations.
The main event is the
exchange of gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and colleagues. Historically,
men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion:
“a rose for love and a book forever”. In modern times, the mutual
exchange of books is also customary.
In Barcelona’s most visited
street, La Rambla, and all over Catalonia, thousands of stands of roses and
makeshift bookstalls are set up for the occasion. By the end of the day, some six
million roses and 800,000 books will have been purchased. Most women will carry
a rose in hand, and half of the total yearly book sales in Catalonia take place
on this occasion.
The Vicente Ferrer Foundation is an NGO committed to developing improved conditions of the most disadvantaged communities in Andra Pradesh, India.