even though st george probably never set foot in this country, he represents the admirable qualities of bravery and chivalry, and was made patron saint of england in the middle ages. the legend that he heroically slayed a dragon to rescue a princess, suggesting good overcoming evil, has made him a much loved popular icon.
st george is also patron saint of catalonia, and celebrated by the portuguese, romanians, maltese, georgians and the people of moscow. his emblem is a red cross on a white background, which is the england flag and part of the union jack. in england it is customary on st george’s day is to wear a single red rose in the lapel.
barcelona celebrates sant jordi on 23rd april with a festival of roses, books and lovers. it’s a combination of culture and romanticism, when sweethearts exchange gifts, and book and flower stalls spring up all around the city. 'a rose is for love and a book is forever'. street artists and musicians perform in public squares and ‘sardana’, the national dance of catalonia, is performed throughout the day.
it’s a perfect excuse for children to dress up in knight’s tunics, don a helmet and role play with swords and shields. as a symbol of my catalan heritage, wherever we are on st george’s day we love to visit to book shop and remember to give each other a red rose.