St George’s Day with a Catalan twist
Saint George, the brave and famous dragon-slaying patron of a whopping eleven European countries and countless regions, towns and islands around the world is given a little break from his busy schedule once a year down in Catalonia. Here, his name is Sant Jordi and his holiday is on the 23rd of April. In England he is the protector of the royal family, the symbol of patriotism and has even been evoked as the inspiration for conscription before the First World War. His holy cross forms the central motif of the Union Jack, the national flag of the United Kingdom. In Catalonia la Senyera, its national flag is said to be a representation of the brave and ruthless fight where Sant Jordi has slayed a dragon. It is believed the stripes of red symbolise blood. As one of the oldest flags in Europe, la Senyera has gained a lot of significance through the centuries. La Senyera is a pattern which constitutes a prominent part of the Catalan independence flag, called La Estelada. The separatist sentiment attached to this banner is so profound the flag was banned during the football tournament of La Copa del Rey in May 2016 in fear of political unrest! Although the flag carries with it the memory of Sant Jordi who stood for chivalry, fearlessness and bravery, in Catalonia, his death day of 23 rd of April is surprisingly all about…red roses and books!Since as far back as the fifteenth century Sant Jordi’s day has been celebrated as Lovers’ Day or El Día dels Enamorats.
And whoever said they were sooo over Valentine's day.... should really try it here in Catalonia