April 23 is St. George’s Day (Dio de San Jorge) here in Barcelona.
Saint George is the patron saint of the city. Legend has it that George saved a princess by slaying a vicious dragon and from the dragon’s blood, a red rose sprang. Thus the tradition of giving red roses on St. George’s Day began. A man might give several roses, one to his wife and daughter or to his significant other, one to his mother, and one to close family friend.
In the 1920′s an enterprising book publisher noticed that both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes had died on April 23. He thought how fitting it would be to celebrate books on April 23. Thus was born the idea of a woman giving books to the men in her life. The book tradition has expanded into book-signing events all over the city.
I wonder if I should take a few copies of “Beyond Salt and Pepper” to the Placa de Catalunya….