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Sant Jordi: deep-rooted tradition that comes to life in Cerdanya

Sant Jordi's day, a holiday full of magic and romance, is quickly approaching! At the Hotel Xalet del Golf in Puigcerdà, we are excited to share with you how this deeply rooted tradition in Catalonia comes to life in the beautiful surroundings of the Cerdanya Valley.

On April 23, our streets are filled with color and joy. Iconic red roses and the most fascinating books adorn the stands of our bookstores, meanwhile, locals and visitors stroll excitedly, searching for the perfect gift for their loved ones.

At the Hotel Xalet del Golf, we invite you to immerse yourself in this wonderful tradition, exploring the main streets of Puigcerdà and letting yourself be carried away by the festive atmosphere.

The most popular books, the best sellers, along with the most personal and less commercial ones will have a privileged place this day. Walking is truly a pleasure and you can discover new proposals that will fill your hours with the most delicious reading. Nowadays, the tradition has spread so much that parents also give these flowers to their daughters and go out to the streets with their little ones to buy them the books they like the most.

Additionally, in many locations, readers will have the opportunity to exchange impressions with the authors of the works, or get them to sign the newly purchased book. Red roses are the protagonists par excellence, although it is true that over the years, roses of all colors have been gaining some ground. In paper cones, in cellophane or decorated in every detail, filling baskets, buckets and tables while they decorate the cities and wait to be delivered to those most in love.

What activities can you enjoy in Cerdanya during Sant Jordi?

  1. Sant Jordi stops: La Cerdanya has many towns that celebrate Sant Jordi in a very special way with the Parades selling books and roses: Bellver, Prullans, Lles de Cardanya, Das, Ger, Alp, Llívia, Puigcerdà... So we recommend that you visit several of them. them to enjoy all the activities and atmospheres they offer.
  2. Cultural activities in Puigcerdà: There are many cultural activities such as traditional dances, concerts, theater, exhibitions and workshops for the little ones.
  3. Walk through the center of Puigcerdà: Let yourself be seduced by the variety of roses and books they can offer you. From literary classics to the latest novelties, you'll find the perfect gift for every special person in your life.
  4. Bellver: Presentation and signing of books with the presence of their authors. And practical illustration workshops and shows for all audiences.
  5. To P: neighbors and visitors enjoy the «Jocs Florals de Cerdanya«. This event is a reference for literature lovers, they have a long history, and are divided into the categories of prose and poetry. The awards ceremony is a very special event, in which awards are given.
  6. Literary route through Cerdanya: Discover the most emblematic corners of our region that have inspired writers over the years. From rivers and green meadows to the towns hidden between valleys and mountains of the region, each corner tells a story that will transport you to worlds of fantasy and adventure.

Origin of the festival

The origin of the festival dates back centuries. Saint Jordi, a knight under the orders of Diocletian, refused to persecute the Christians as he was ordered, and for this he was martyred and beheaded. That story has little to do with fantasy, dragons and princesses, right? The reality is that the saint was so revered that fantastic stories linked to his figure soon began to appear, and we will tell you about them later. During the 15th century, a fair was already organized in Barcelona in which roses were sold and bought by engaged boys, boyfriends and young married couples.

Does giving a rose on such an important date have its origins in it? Be that as it may, nowadays, the hobby of doing it is such that florists estimate to make the 40% of the annual sales of roses on April 23.

As for the tradition of giving a book as a gift, it seems that we must go back at least to the 1929 International Exhibition, when book sellers decided to set up book stalls on the street to publicize new products and encourage the people of Barcelona to buy books. reading. As the years passed, they decided to combine this initiative with giving the rose and make them coincide on April 23, a date that also commemorates the death of 2 famous writers of universal literature: Shakespeare and Cervantes. As an interesting fact, it is worth mentioning that in 1996, UNESCO declared Sant Jordi Day as International Book Day.

For the most romantic: The Legend of Sant Jordi

Legend has it that the town of Montblanc was being devastated by a terrible dragon. The inhabitants, along with their livestock, were devoured. To appease the beast's hunger, every day they offered it a maiden. The day came when the king's daughter was chosen, then a knight named Jordi faced the fearsome dragon, defeating it and ending the terrible fate of the inhabitants of Montblanc. They say that a beautiful rose bush with red flowers emerged from the spilled blood.
The book tradition came later, some say it was born when the brave knight wrote a poem to his beloved princess.

For food lovers

Year after year, new gastronomic proposals are added to taste on this special day. We highlight the 2 most common. Don't stop looking for them, it won't be difficult for you to find them and you will like them:

  1. Sant Jordi bread: an original alternative to the usual bread, since it incorporates sobrasada in its recipe. Playing with color, the baker alternates the bread dough with the reddish sobrasada mixture. When cutting the loaf we find the 4 stripes of the Catalan flag. In some cases, the baker adds some walnuts to the recipe. An original delight that you will only find today in Catalan bakeries.
  1. Sant Jordi dessert: a rectangular cake that emulates a book. This delicate proposal offers thin layers of cake made from sugar, egg and almond.

As you see, April 23 is truly an important day, full of magic, culture and love. Don't miss the opportunity to experience it at least once, so come and enjoy it.

At the Hotel Xalet del Golf in Puigcerdà, we are excited to celebrate Sant Jordi with you, offering you a unique experience full of culture, tradition and love. Come and join us to experience this special day in the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees!



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