TODAY is St George’s Day, the festival of England’s primary patron saint.

Mockingly every country except England gets a bank holiday on their Saint’s Day.

And despite popular belief, St George is not even English.

st george sant jordi
England’s flag and a poster in Catalonia celebrating Sant Jordi

According to legend, St George slayed a dragon, and it’s unclear if he really existed. Yet if he had, he would likely have been a soldier somewhere from the eastern Roman Empire.

Regardless, the patron saint of England has captivated British imaginations since the Crusades and the Hundred Years’ War.

33838556820_29e92e0f18_c
In Cataluña, instead of a Punch and Judy show, you’ll get a rose or a book.

But St George is also the patron saint of Aragon and Cataluña as well as Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia.

Cataluña adopted St George, Sant Jordi, as its patron saint in the 15th century. A day which IS marked with a bank holiday in the region.

The Bookstores Prepared For The Traditional Day Of Sant Jordi's Day In Barcelona, Spain 19 Apr 2021
A Happy Sant Jordi Day poster is seen at the Casa del Libro bookstore on Passeig de Gràcia.

However, instead of a Punch and Judy show, you’ll get a rose or a book.

Why a book?

In 1926 Spain declared April 23, the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, the most famous Spanish writer, as Book Day.

It was a coincidence that this coincided with the day of the feast of Sant Jordi.

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