The Sant Jordi Book Festival in Barcelona is one of the most beautiful book fairs in the world. Devoted to St. George, who slew the dragon to save the damsel in distress, it is the St. Valentine’s Day of Catalonia. As the legend goes, when Sant Jordi wounded the dragon’s wing a rose bush sprang up from the drops of blood that fell to the ground. In celebration, gentlemen would give their ladies a rose. In the late 1920’s the booksellers’ guild added books into the mix. Today, on April 23rd, the feast day of St. George, the promenades of Barcelona are lined with bookstands and flower stalls, and everyone buys a book and a rose.
In 2020 and 2021, in response to the pandemic, we took the festival online (santjordinyc.org) and gained an international audience, with speakers and viewers in 24 languages and 41 countries.
In 2022, as we emerge from the pandemic, we are thrilled to partner with the
Jersey City Theatre Center, which will be our host for a series of beautiful and timely exhibitions and performances. New Jersey City University will host and co-curate in-person and online book events, and Word Bookstore in Jersey City is our bookselling partner. In a word, the festival is going hybrid and expanding to become the Sant Jordi USA Festival of Books, Roses & the Arts as we establish a new center of operations in Jersey City, New Jersey.