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 emerged from the pandemic and partnered with the
Jersey City Theatre Center, which was our host for a series of beautiful and timely exhibitions and performances. In a word, the festival became hybrid and expanded to become the Sant Jordi USA Festival of Books, Roses & the Arts. In the fall, we had a three-day Sant Jordi in Chicago as well.
Sant Jordi USA
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(Isabelle Duverger & Laia Cabrera)