Today is World Book Day. But also Saint George’s day. In Catalonia they call it Sant Jordi diada and people exchange books and roses.
But how come the two days coincide? The reason is a dragon and a writer.
As for the dragon, Saint George killed him just when he was ready to devour a princess. From the dragon’s blood a rose blossomed. Saint George offered the rose to the princess. And since then the roses were always associated with these day.
But what about the books? Here comes, in 1926,the writer and bookseller Vincent Claver Andres who was perplexed from the fact that people in Barcelona weren’t buying enough books . Andres noticed that St.George’ s day coincides with the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare and began to promote the tradition of women giving men a book in return for the rose as a way to honor the death of the two giants of literature.
Nowadays, women get a book too and men get their rose.