Saint Georges Day (Sant Jordi)
In Barcelona 23rd April, Saint George’s Day, is a bit like Saint Valentine’s Day – sweethearts exchange gifts – notably roses and books, couples young and old stroll down boulevards arm in arm whispering sweet nothings and the whole city is filled with a gloriously warm touchy-feely glow.
You are likely to see a plethora of stalls popping up in squares and on street corners across the older part of the city selling books and flowers, and despite the potential sickliness, the whole affair is in fact rather lovely in the golden spring sunshine.
The most popular and best markets will be in the largest areas like La Rambla, Plaça Sant Jaume and Plaza Catalunya so you can decide whether to dive in head first to the love fest or avoid it and head to a quieter area.
In the busier parts of Barcelona it is going to seem more like a carnival day than a saint day with people performing the sardana, the national dance of Catalonia. There will be street performers dotted around and the general feeling of festival will pervade the place. The book theme is carried through with readings and signings by local authors and there is even a traditional cake for Saint George you can tuck into.
If you are not feeling especially romantic why not get away from the crowds and head out of the old city. Try a walk up the hill to Montjuic Castle or view the amazing sculpted artworks of Gaudi at the Park Guell. Or just head to the beach and catch some rays while everyone else is in the city.
It is worth noting that the day is a public holiday, so some places may close for the day so that employees can celebrate.