La Dia de Sant Jordi (celebrated on the day of Sant Jordi’s death, April 23rd) is Spain’s version of Valentine’s Day. The origins of the holiday come from a medieval story that took place in the village of Montblac.
According to Catalan tradition, a terrible and ferocious dragon wreaked havoc on the town and was only appeased by a daily human sacrifice. The sacrifice was decided upon by a lottery - the only fair way to decide the horrible fate of a fellow townsman.
via “Llibreria Efora” on Pinterest: http://ow.ly/tBdyG
One day, as chance would have it, the name of the kings daughter was chosen. Though her fairness and beauty were unparalleled, and though it filled the King’s heart with despair, he agreed to the sacrifice as it was the only just thing to do.
Fortunately, as most fairy tales go, the princess was saved by a brave and noble knight who slayed the dragon, freeing the princess and the town of the hideous beast.
Before leaving, the knight plucked a red rose for the princess from a bush, which had sprouted at the exact spot where the dragon’s red blood had spilled. And thus the tradition of giving roses was born!
Years later, on April 23rd 1616, both William Shakespeare and famed Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes died. The tradition of exchanging books for roses began in 1923 to commemorate the death of these great authors.
Feliz Dia de Sant Jordi (in advance) and Happy Valentine’s Day!
photo by Victor Sebastian Lopez via 500px http://ow.ly/tBfCr