dilluns, 23 d’abril de 2012

A kiss from a rose - Seal #FeliçSantJordi

Feliç Dia de Sant Jordi!
.... Today is the 23rd of April - a very special day in Catalonia. The Catalans’ Patron Saint happens to be Saint Jordi (or George in English). Yes, the guy who killed the dragon. Jordi was a Roman soldier born in Palestine in the 3rd century AD who later converted to Christianity. Although the first documented writings of the dragon incident state that it happened in Libya, the Catalans believe it actually happened in the town of Montblanc in Catalonia. They may have a point as I can vouch that there are definitely no dragons currently living in Montblanc.
Jordi finished the dragon off with his lance, and from the wound the dragon’s blood spilled out and amazingly turned into a beautiful red rose.
Nowadays in dragon-free Catalonia, it is customary to walk the streets on this day with your family. Meeting friends, having a coffee (or beer), and, above-all, browsing at the multitude of open-air book stalls set out everywhere, as the Catalans celebrate this day by giving books and roses to their lovers/partners. Tradition dictates books for men and roses for women, though many men give both a book and a rose to their “better half”. It is an extremely beautiful, cultural and peaceful celebration. There are many public poetry recitals and book-readings today too alongside other literary events. Many countries have also tried copying this idea of a “book giving day”, and in 1995 UNESCO declared 23rd April to be World Book Day (even though, for reasons better known to themselves, the UK celebrates its “World” Book Day in March!).
This day has many literary connections. Cervantes was born, and died, on the 23rd April, and Shakespeare also died on this date – but as the English and Spanish used different calendars back then, these “23rd”s were not exactly the same day, if that makes sense!

With a title like this, today's song was an obvious choice:

7 comentaris:

  1. fascinating St Jordi information - really interesting read... thanks.... personally I feel sorry for the dragon..... in the same way i felt sorry for elephants last week!! And for THAT reason, perhaps this Seal track might be more appropriate!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFyZQBQLbRM

  2. Thanks, yeah you're right - and actually I much prefer this track (Killer).
    Anyway, after a long day, working and celebrating, with half a dozen more books on our shelves, and a couple of roses on the table, it's time to hit the sack.

  3. Sense que serveixi de precedent, em queixaré de la song, ejejejeje. Sempre m'ha semblat un tostón i Seal un pesat :P

  4. No problemo! Et dono la rao, tampoc m'agrada gaire - pero era un intent de trobar cançó que lligava amb l'apunt, en dos minuts, i aixi ens va ;)

  5. I think you wrote about this lovely day last year. My reaction is the same this year. I want to pack up and come and live in Catalunya! Books and roses would be my two favourite things!

  6. No m'ha entusiasmat la cançó però com has dit, va anar bé per lligar amb el dia

  7. TICTAC; si, realment teniu rao, a vore si l'any que vé millorem!!

    KATHERINE; oops, you noticed! Better a recycled post than no post, though, as we say round these parts! Speaking of which, when we finally get the blog kick-started again, the next post will also be reminiscent of one from last year. But, originality will return one day - watch this space!