The Day Of Lovers

April 23, 2012

I hope I’m the first one to wish you a happy La Diada de Sant Jordi! Or maybe better for you, the second!

If you’re in Barcelona today, you’re probably celebrating this sweet holiday inspired by Saint George,  patron saint of Catalonia and lover of all things romantic. As the tradition has gone since medieval times, lovers exchange gifts every April 23rd: men give flowers, while women give books. By the end of the day, over four million roses and 400,000 books will be purchased. Amazing!

I just heard about this celebration and I think it’s fantastic. I want to join in, don’t you? I’d love to give Ben Blair a gorgeous edition of Don Quixote and make these paper roses — crafted from a Spanish children’s book, of course — for our kids. It would be nice to treat this Monday with a little more amor than usual!

P.S. — Do be sure to tell me if you celebrate La Diada de Sant Jordi or any other alternative Valentine’s Day! I’d love to hear your traditions!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paula Castro April 23, 2012 at 5:45 am

Hi, for me and my husband is really a celebrating day cause it’s my marriage birthday :)

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2 Design Mom April 23, 2012 at 6:33 am

Happy anniversary!!

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3 Laetitia April 23, 2012 at 6:35 am

How lovely you are talking about this holiday.
I am French (living in Paris) but all my father’s family is spanish and living in Barcelona.
My uncle lives in Toronto for the last 18 years, and to tribute to our roots he name my dear cousin Jordi !! :)))

Thank you for reminding me this day.
I have to send an email to my cousin now….thank you technology for us..international family ;-)

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4 Design Mom April 23, 2012 at 6:46 am

Hooray for technology!

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5 Ann Scott April 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

I love this!

I am English and here in England St.George’s day is our national day. It is really sad that we don’t seem to do anything to celebrate this.

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6 Cecilia April 23, 2012 at 8:21 am

How fun! Coincidence: my boss is Greek and took the day off today to celebrate St. George day. I’m not sure if the Greek celebration involves love or exchange of gifts, but I’ll have to ask her!

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7 Brandi April 23, 2012 at 8:22 am

I’ve never heard of this–but I met my husband on this day 18 years ago. I’m so happy to know, and I may give those paper roses a try!

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8 Helen April 23, 2012 at 8:49 am

So even though we live in the US, I try to expose my girls to English culture as I want them to feel a part of my country. Yesterday the girls decorated tags with a St. George’s flag. Today for St. George’s Day they are giving each of their classmates a red rose tied up with the tag (luckily they are in the same class, so not too many roses!)

I know it is not really what is done in England (although I do remember wearing a rose on St. George’s day). But, it is at least a way for them to keep England in their heart and mind.

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9 Amy3 April 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

How fun is this? I just found a book I wanted to get for my husband and this was the perfect excuse to do it! Thanks!

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10 mariar April 23, 2012 at 10:28 am

Hello from Finland! Today we celebrate the day of book and rose. So yes, we do have a similar tradition here…although unfortunately it is not closely associated with love or romance. Book shops tend to have special programme and offers or promotions. Some give out roses, when you buy a book. Others treat you to a free book, when you spennd 10 EUR on other books.

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11 Ingrid April 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

Thanks for this post! I did not know about this holiday, and my mother and grandmother are Spanish, from Tarragona–so it prompted me to email my mom and wish her a happy day! :)

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12 Katie April 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

But . . . but I would want a book, too!

:D

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13 Amy April 23, 2012 at 11:46 am

Sorry, I am a little late for this post.In Japan they celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14th just like the Americans but it is just a time for women to buy men chocolates. THEN on March 14th, White Day, the men buy something for the women. (The gifts for women are usually NOT chocolates , not sure why that is)

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14 Jordi April 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm

A day just for me, who knew?! I would very much like to make those roses though. I’ve seen variations of them dozens of times, but each time I fall in love with them!

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15 This girl loves to talk April 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm

yes Amy already stated what I was going to! We are a homestay family for international students (many asian) and many of them have told me how on valentines day the girls have to give men things but nothing for them! at first I thought that was a little onesided! and laughed with them when I said usually men spoil women on that day here! then they told me how it is the men’s turn a month later! which makes it good I suppose (plus if you are married it will spred the financial cost out.. the money for two good gifts as once can be hard on a budget! – I KNOW THIS as my husband and I birthday are a day apart. We just celebrate together like we are twins! lol)

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16 Sarah April 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Or maybe some Shakespeare .. since April 23 is his birthday too. So fun to learn about other holidays around the world.

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17 Stacey April 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

It’s so charming! I can’t wait to teach my middle school students about this tradition! I am teaching them all about Spanish culture in relation to Picasso and Dali! I like the connection to literature! Love your blog! Xoxo

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18 Nuria April 24, 2012 at 5:29 am

Hello my name is Nuria and I come from Barcelona but living in Hannover (Germany). My husband forget allways the day, he is german, but this morning I told him twice (because he didn´t understood, what I meant) that today is also the world day book and Sant Jordi. In the evening he came home with a rosebush and I gave him the las John Irving book.

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19 Gina April 24, 2012 at 7:58 am

We’ve just returned from Barcelona. I wish I had known… I love your idea and would have brought back a little Soanish paper to surprise my family. Cute! Thanks for sharing!

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20 Melissa October 17, 2012 at 6:13 am

Thank you for this! I am reading back through your archives (love your blog, by the way!), and my son’s name is Jordi. My husband served his mission in Spain and loved the name. I’m excited to start celebrating this holiday in our family!

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