World Book Day was adopted by UNESCO in 1995 after the Catalan tradition of La Diada de Saint Jordi (Saint George’s Day) on April 23rd
Sant Jordi, books and roses
Sant Jordi is a Catalan tradition that combines books and roses to express love. Books and roses stalls are set on the streets of every town in Catalonia. People fill the streets looking for the perfect book gift for their beloved ones — spouses, children and friends. Men also give women roses — ‘a rose for love and a book forever’.
In modern times, Sant Jordi has evolved into an outdoors popular book fair celebrating literature and promoting reading. Books stores present the latest publications and invite well-know authors to sign books. The scent of roses invades the atmosphere creating a magic of “love for books, books for love”.
The Casal Català de Washington DC wants to replicate this ancient festivity. Our plan is to fill Dupont Circle with books and roses and recreate the “love for books, books for love” magic of that day.
A unique event on an international scale
Sant Jordi is part of Catalonia’s collective imagination. It is a festive, emotional celebration in which the whole community takes part.
Over the last few years, the celebration in Barcelona has begun to garner international attention and attracts tourists and curious public from around the world.
At the request of the Government of Spain and with the support of the Catalan Government, UNESCO adopted April 23rd as the World Book Day. Since then, Sant Jordi has awakened the interest of the international community so the World Book Day is now celebrated in more than 50 places all around the world.
Cities like New York, London, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, and Budapest celebrate Sant Jordi thanks to the organizational efforts of local Catalan communities and institutions dedicated to promoting Catalan culture worldwide.
Let’s bring it to Washington DC!