I was helping my Spanish house mate with a practice speaking exam for her English exam next week when I had to ask the question ‘are flowers important in your culture?’. She’s from a town in Catalunya and she started tell me about the 23rd of April.
St George is the patron saint of Catalunya and his saint day also happens to be my birthday. The story goes, that when George slew the dragon and rescued a princess, a red rose bush sprouted from the spot where the dragon’s blood had spilled. St George plucked a rose from that bush and gave it to the princess and thus, on the 23rd of April, it has become a tradition for a man to give a woman he loves – apparently it could be your mum, your sister or your friend these days too – a red rose. A more recent addition to the tradition is that the woman gives him a book in return. This tradition, their version of Valentine’s Day, really captured me, especially because I love books so much (I’d actually like to be selfish and receive a rose and a book!). It sounds beautiful, and I love the thought of the streets being full of rose-sellers on my birthday! I absolutely have to go to Catalunya for my Birthday one year.