Local fiestas

April 23 is not a public holiday but it seems so, as the streets of Barcelona are full of people and bustle. A day to wander around Barcelona, a day for men to symbolically and ephemerally become knights and women princesses, and a day to encourage the sale of books and, hopefully, reading. But where are the stalls selling books and roses set up? Well, everywhere. On any street corner, you can find a stall selling roses, sometimes consisting of a small table with a bucket of roses, other stalls are larger and more elaborate. Any neighborhood bookstore will set up a stall in front of their store, but if you want to go to the area with the highest concentration of stalls, which constitutes a real book fair, you would normally have to go downtown, to Plaza Catalunya. And from there you go down La Rambla or up Passeig de Gràcia.

About Sant Jordi's Day

Sant Jordi's Day in Catalonia is the day when the streets are filled with stalls of roses and books. It is tradition that men give a rose to women and women give a book to men. We say it in plural because nowadays roses are not only given to the partner, but also to friends, work colleagues.... They always find it more difficult to extend the scope of the offering, for a question of price, of course. And variations to the original tradition can vary even more, because in same-sex couples it is possible for a man to receive a rose and a woman a book.

But where does this tradition of Sant Jordi come from?

Sant Jordi, the knight who slew the dragon and saved the princess and the people he terrorized. From the dragon's mortal wound sprouted the blood that made a rosebush grow and bloom every April (so says the Catalan legend of the knight Jordi). On April 23rd 303, by order of Emperor Diocletian, the knight Jordi was martyred and killed for refusing to persecute Christians. In time, the knight Jordi became a Saint and Patron Saint of Catalonia (1456). Another fact, in the fifteenth century, in Barcelona was celebrated the so-called Fair of Lovers, and around the Palau de la Generalitat were installed vendors of roses to the bride and groom, engaged and young married couples. But April 23rd is also the Day of the Book, and today, the International Day of the Book, so the custom of giving a rose was added to the custom of giving a book (year 1930).

Puesto de libros en el día de Sant Jordi

Photo Francis Lenn (CC BY 2.0)

Book stalls, where to find them?

As we have explained at the beginning of this article, book and rose stalls can be found everywhere. We have also mentioned that the center of Barcelona is the main core of the celebration. However, the center is not the only area where a real book and rose fair is organized. We indicate below the squares, streets and avenues where the largest number of book stalls will be concentrated.

Areas with book stalls (2024)

  • Ciutat Vella: La Rambla, plaça Reial and passeig de Lluís Companys
  • L'Eixample: Plaça de Catalunya, Plaça de la Universitat, Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Sant Joan (between Plaça de Tetuan and Arc de Triomf).
  • Sants-Montjuïc: Rambla de Sants.
  • Les Corts: Avinguda de la Diagonal (between Carrer de Joan Güell and Carrer de Pau Romeva, on the sea side).
  • Sarrià - Sant Gervasi: Sarrià square.
  • Gràcia: Gran de Gràcia street (between Sèneca street and Rambla del Prat), Nicolás Salmerón square, Vila de Gràcia square and Jardinets de Gràcia.
  • Horta-Guinardó: Plaça d'Eivissa and the area bounded by Carrer del Tajo, between the Plana descent and the Mercat descent.
  • Nou Barris: Via Júlia bus shelter (between Argullós street and Joaquim Valls street) and Virrei Amat square (at the intersection of Felip II street and Jota street).
  • Sant Andreu: Orfila and Comerç squares and Segre street (between Pont street and Cinca street).
  • Sant Martí: Rambla del Poblenou (between Passeig de Calvell and Avinguda de la Diagonal), Carrer del Cabanyal, Carrer de la Sèquia Comtal, Plaça del Mercat, Plaça de Font i Sagué and Gabriel García Márquez Library.

Doors open for Sant Jordi (2024)

Barcelona City Hall (April 21)

Barcelona City Hall opens its doors on Sunday, April 21, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, in celebration of Sant Jordi. It will be free to enter (with limited seating) and visit various areas, including the Escala Negra, the Capella del Bon Consell, and other historic halls and emblematic offices. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the M. Aurèlia Capmany viewpoint in the Novíssim building. There will be assistance from Red Cross volunteers for people with reduced mobility. In addition, there will be historical figures welcoming visitors and offering explanations about different spaces, such as the chronicler Ramon Muntaner and the councilors Joan Fiveller and Rafael Casanova. There will also be a children's puppet show with the representation of "En Patufet" ( there will be four sessions: at 11.00, at 12.00, at 16.00 and at 17.00) and workshops to create puppets of the knight Sant Jordi.

Palau de la Generalitat (April 23)

The Palau de la Generalitat joins the open day, so you can see its institutional and monumental spaces. The visit starts on the first floor where you can see the Sala Clavé, the Press Room and the Auditorium; and continues on the main floor: Sala Tàpies, Sala Torres García, Sala del Gobierno, Capilla de Sant Jordi, Sacristy and Salón de Sant Jordi. You can also visit the open spaces: the Naranjos courtyard, the Gothic Gallery, the Gothic staircase and the Gothic courtyard. At 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. you can listen to the auditions of the Carilló del Palauand at 7:00 p.m. there will be sardana dancing.

Other cultural spaces that open their doors

  • Ateneu Barcelonès: where outstanding texts of Catalan literature will be read (schedule to be confirmed).
  • Casa Asia: On April 23 will gather multiple authors who will sign copies of their books. Come and get your own origami rose or dragon. Come and participate in the first meeting in Barcelona of signings of Asian-descended authors and add to your book the special edition of the exlibris illustrated by the Vietnamese Kim Ly for the Sant Jordi of Casa Asia (from 12:00 to 18:00 h).
  • Palau Güellfrom 10:00 to 20:00 h (free access but reservations are required. Reservations will be available from April 19).
  • Museum of the History of Catalonia: from 10:00 to 19:00 h.
Free event
The whole city

How to get there


Hola! Us invitem a venir a la Parada de Dones a Gràcia (Passeig de gràcia 122/Jardinets de gràcia). Durant tot el día l'autora del Tresor de Lilith, Carla Trepat Casanovas estarà signant.

A les 13h ens visitarà Pilar Pons Umbria, autora de "El Silencio Pélvico"

I a partir de les 17:30, ens acompanyaràn també signant:

Agnès Mateu, il.lustradora del llibre "El Baile de la Vida en las Mujeres" i Lara Castro-Grañén, autora de "Placer ConSentido".

Bloody Venus presentaràn el seu projecte de Menstruació Conscient.

La artista Ana Alvarez Errecalde ens portarà una petita mostra del seu treball i del seu llibre "Cesárea, más allá de la herida" i per últim, tindrem també signant els seus cds la Rosa Zaragoza.

Us hi esperem!

Wed, 17/04/2019 - 17:40
Carla Trepat (not verified)

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