The 23rd of April is the Festa de Sant Jordi, when Catalunya celebrates the day of its patron saint, Saint George, and when traditionally men would give their partner a rose (with a sprig of wheat, a symbol of fertility), which would be reciprocated with a book.

So the festival features a strong literary as well as romantic association, and it’s the most important date in the calendar for the city’s publishing houses and booksellers. This year, Sant Jordi is also on the anniversary of the death of two literary giants, Shakespeare and Cervantes.

Sant Jordi is a joyous spring celebration, with bookstalls lining Barcelona’s grandest streets, and everyone carrying roses and books for their loved ones.

Aplecat, popular culture in Nou Barris

The Procat Foundation has organized this exhibition that includes dancing giants and devils, a fair with food and crafts, concerts, and Sardana and Havana dances.

Open doors

Numerous cultural spaces across Barcelona will open their doors for free this Staurday to mark Sant Jordi. Among the highlights are:

• The Modernista complex of the Hospital Sant Pau de Lluis Domenech i Montaner (10am to 6:30pm, with a performance by the Balkan Paradise Orchestra and Barcelona Asian Choir)
• Palau Guell by Antoni Gaudi
• The National Library of Catalunya
• The Archaeology Museum of Catalonia

Multicultural festival in the Rambla del Rava

The lively Raval neighbourhood celebrates with more than 40 activities and 75 entities full of life and culture. It takes place on the Rambla del Raval, the neighboorhood’s artery, with crafts, live music, storytelling and workshops.

Arts Libris

The seventh edition of the International Contemporary Fira de l’Edició is taking place around Sant Jordi at the Santa Mònica Arts Centre on the Ramblas and will be free on the day . The exhibition includes books and photos.

Concerts and autographs at the Apollo Store

The Apollo Hall store on Paral.lel organizes a day of music and literature suitable for the most demanding hipsters, with craft beer, concerts from Gegant Super, Sexy Bicycle, BOIRA and Critters and autograph signings from authors such as Martha Salicrú, Tania Lopez and Alicia Rodriguez.

Themed menus in hotels and restaurants

Some of the most exclusive restaurants establishments in the city will celebrate National Day with special dishes made from pink ingredients, champagne, products with petals, foie gras and ‘pan de Sant Jordi’. Some noteworthy restaurants taking part are Martin Berasategui Loidi, Via Veneto, the Fonda Spain, the Mandarin Oriental and the Shibui Japanese hotel.

So with an exciting array of event son offer, this year´s Sant Jordi promises to be a special one. Whatever you get up to on the day, Feliç Sant Jordi!