When literature and romance meet
Although the Catalans have no national literary figure’s birthday to celebrate on 23rd April they use their patron saint’s day, the Diada de Sant Jordi to display their love of literature, with gifts of books (traditionally from women to men) and of roses in return, in their own intellectual version of Valentine’s day – though nowadays the custom is more gender-blind.
And of course, it is the birthday of two literary greats, Shakespeare and Cervantes, but while in England St George’s Day day is quite low-key, the Catalans, with all their nationalist fervour, dive in with gusto and special street stalls selling books and flowers fill the centre of Barcelona, drawing in the crowds.
Moreover, the tradition grows in strength, with its fame spreading internationally and the fact is, Barcelona continues to celebrate culture exceedingly well in its own special style.
(This picture and more at http://www.demotix.com)