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Sant Jordi's Day


 

 
So, what is this about?
La Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George's day) is one of the most important festivities in Catalunya, Sant Jordi is our patron saint, and it's also the lovers' day in Catalunya (we do not celebrate Saint Valentines).

When did the tradition to celebrate St. Jordi's Day start?
This tradition started in 1436 and it states that couples give each other a red rose (blood-red). Usually is the boy that gives the girl a rose and the girl gives the boy a book (yes, yes, yes, gender equality, blahblahblah, boys giving a rose it's a tradition that comes from the XV century so don't you dare. It's super exciting. And you always have the option of skipping and just go for the books part.).

some roses ready for Sant Jordi. They usually put a wheat spike with the rose)

Where did the rose and book-giving tradition come from?
Saint George died on the 23rd of April and the gesture of boys giving girls a red rose comes from the  legend of Saint George and the dragon:

“Once upon a time there was a very beautiful village where people were very happy. However, one day a terrifying dragon settled in their lands. He destroyed all their fields and eat their animals and nobody knew how to solve their problem. The council met and they decided that to soothe the beast they would offer as food a young girl once a year, but since they couldn't find volunteers, they organized a draw.
One year the draw decided that the King's daughter was the chosen one. She was a very smart, kind and beautiful girl so many villagers offered to take her place, but the King, who was a very fair man didn't accept it and made her go meet her terrible destiny with the dragon.

And so, the princess left for the cave where the dragon lived. When she was almost on the entry, all of a sudden a knight riding a white horse and wearing a very shiny armor appeared!

-Leave! Leave young knight, because here lives a very dangerous dragon that will eat you if he sees you! -Said the princess.
The knight then looked at her and told her -Don't worry, princess, I am here to protect you! I've come from far, far away to kill the dragon, save you and liberate your village from the terror of the beast!

He almost didn't have time to say this that the dragon went out of the cave. The knight and the monster started fighting until he cut the dragon's neck with his sword. From the blood that came out and fell on the grown a rosebush with beautiful red roses grew. The knight cut one and gave it to the princess. They both returned to the village and the king offered the knight his daughter to thank him for having saved her and the village, but the knight declined because he had to continue saving those in need.”

 
 
(image of Sant Jordi killing the dragon by Rafaello)

And this is why the tradition of boys giving girls a red rose started.

The 23th of April it's also the International Book Day since it's the day both Miguel de Cervantes and Shakespeare died. However this is a much modern tradition that started in 1926.

This day is the second day of the year (after the Catalan National Day, on the 11th of September) where us Catalans claim the importance of our identity. Many people put senyeres in the balconies, usually the roses include it somehow in the plastic or with a bow and we celebrate our culture and heritage. Given that our National Day it's not a celebration but a commemoration of when we were defeated by the Spanish in 1714, this day we do celebrate.

Everybody is on the streets that are full of tables (like if it was a market) where people sell roses and libraries sell their books. Many authors from all around the world come so you can ask them to sign their books. At schools they usually organize writing contests too.
It's one of the most beautiful and special days of the year for us.


 



(libraries with their tables set on the street and people buying books)

(Girona's view of Plaça Catalunya from the air with everybody walking around)

(La Rambla in Barcelona turns into a crazy place flooded by people)

~THE FUN PART aka FRIENDING MEME #GEEKSTYLE~

So, now that you know what St. Jordi celebration is, we want to invite you guys to celebrate it with us :-)

Obviously we will not be exchanging hard copy books but, rather we will recommend each other books and maybe exchange e-books if available.

If you want to participate this is how to do it:
1. Fill out the form below
2. We will do a raffle and pair you up with someone and on April 23rd we will make a post for you guys to exchange the books. That way, each person will get one book from one other person.
3. PLEASE DO NOT RECOMMEND THE BOOKS NOW. We will pair you up with someone :-) Think of this like Secret Santa.

Questions for everybody that wants to participate to help chose an adequate book for them:

What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
Name an author you admire a lot.
What's your favourite genre of literature?
And what's your least favourite one?
A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?


E-book resources:
http://community.livejournal.com/cybershelf/
http://community.livejournal.com/digilit/
http://community.livejournal.com/ebook_requests/
http://community.livejournal.com/ebooklover/
http://community.livejournal.com/elibrarians/
http://library.nu
http://ebookee.org

If you know any good sources for e-books just drop the links in the comments!

PS: everything in this post is [info]wannabeinsicily and nothing is me, so thank her for the amazing writeup on St Jordi's Day!

Comments

( 80 comments )
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ardiramidus
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)
ooo this is a lovely post! what an adorable holiday, so much better than valentines day.

What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Name an author you admire a lot.
JD Salinger
What's your favourite genre of literature?
Dystopian novels
And what's your least favourite one?
I guess those fantasy ones with like wizards and elves and dragons and stuff, but I liked Harry Potter.
A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
The Great Gatsby, oh how I tried.
Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?
Homer Wells from Cider House Rules


RECOMMEND ME SOME GOOD BOOKS! I AM ALL DONE SCHOOL AND HAVE TIME TO READ LEISURELY.
uncja
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
My teacher is crazy about dystopian novels, she made us read a lot of them this year. Have you read Fahrenheit 451 (probably yes, duh)? ;)
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asdfg
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)

What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Name an author you admire a lot.
Colum McCann and Sandra Cisneros

What's your favourite genre of literature?
General fiction, historical fiction, modern literature, non-fiction (books like The Pixar Touch)

And what's your least favourite one?
I don't hate any particular genre. Although I can't stand Jane Austen books and the likes.

A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
I always finish a book. But Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was a waste of time. BIG WASTE OF TIME.

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?
Luna Lovegood
newjackswinger
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
I really have a strong dislike for Jane Austen as well.
(no subject) - renigallagher - Apr. 14th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
uncja
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
Wow, a beautiful tradition and a great post, thanks! :)

I'm not really into e-books because I don't have a proper device for them, but if you're in need of classic literature, take a look at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
It was The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuściński, it was a book about Africa and Latin America in XX century, very well written.

Name an author you admire a lot.
Tolkien, because he created something simply amazing and beautiful. I used to reread his books a lot when I was a child. :)

What's your favourite genre of literature? / And what's your least favourite one?
I read everything!

A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
Krzyżacy by Henryk Sienkiewicz - I've finished it but it was awful. A book about medieval Poland, very boring, one of the worst obligatory readings I've ever had. :|

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?
Lots of them, I liked Tolkien's characters, Marvin from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Edmund from Narnia, Sherlock Holmes and Watson are great...
newjackswinger
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
This totally sounds like fun. I never post, but I actually want to be a part of this!

Last book I enjoyed reading: The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway
Author I admire a lot: Jorge Luis Borges
Favorite genre: Magical Realism/Spanish Modernism, also any poetry
Least favorite genre: any commercial novel, even if well written.
Book I hated: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Favorite character: Quite pathetically, Sir Lancelot.
holaascensor
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
HI :)
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(no subject) - asdfg - Apr. 14th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
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lucy_barker
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
This idea is great! :)

What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien

Name an author you admire a lot.
Agatha Christie, and of course Tolkien.

What's your favourite genre of literature?
Fantasy literature and also horror/thriller books, detective stories etc.

And what's your least favourite one?
I don't know... I love reading, I will read anything if someone says it's good. But I'm not exactly a romantic novel type of person.

A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. Just no.

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?
Hercule Poirot, probably.
janetbond007
Apr. 14th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
ooooooo how wonderful! :D


What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
War and Peace. It was my new year's resolution to finally read it and it was pretty good! I'm currently reading "Killing Bono," though and so far, it is hilarious.

Name an author you admire a lot.
Tolkien would be my favorite author, ever.

What's your favourite genre of literature?
I really like history books. Anything based on historical fact. I like science fiction and fantasy, but I'm kind of picky about those.

And what's your least favourite one?
~Romance

A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
I never did finish Harry Potter. I got through half of the first book and just couldn't finish it. I didn't hate it, but I couldn't get through it.

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?
Eowyn from the lord of the rings, Lucy and Caspian from narnia
(Deleted comment)
uncja
Apr. 14th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
Is COME CLOSER (...) available somewhere as an e-book? It's not available in paper here. Besides I've no money.
(Deleted comment)
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holaascensor
Apr. 14th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
currently reading Imaginary Men and I like it.

Name an author you admire a lot.
Eduardo Galeano

What's your favourite genre of literature?
non-fitcion sports, teen fiction (it is my crack), and mystery.

And what's your least favourite one?
I don't have one?

A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
The Fountainhead *shudders*

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?
Hermione Granger (DONUT JUDGE ME). Ever since the first book came out, people have nicknamed me that. It doubled when the movie was released cos apparently I look like her too.

Edited at 2011-04-14 03:03 pm (UTC)
hiisunshineee
Apr. 14th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)
No judging here. She's my favorite too.

pharmacists
Apr. 14th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
i love this!

What's the last book you enjoyed reading? soccernomics, currently reading "fever pitch"
Name an author you admire a lot. gabriel garcia marquez, jorge luis borges, kurt vonnegut
What's your favourite genre of literature? latin american lit - magical realism, modernism
And what's your least favourite one? i have no idea...romance novels and twilight? but i'll read anything
A book you hated or you couldn't finish. it was for school but man, i had to drop the sound and the fury. i also had to stop reading some palahniuk books (diary and...something else just as horrible) couldn't do it.
Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character? this is so nerdy, but the first thing that came to mind was both generations of the watchmen. so good.

on topic: link to goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5120904-julissa i guess it could give you a clue about what i have been reading
kitty69lover
Apr. 14th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
i love magical realism, but to my shame i've not read anything by Borges yet :!
roseofdarkness
Apr. 14th, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
1. I just finished The Hunger Games and I loved it.
2. JD Salinger, Sylvia Plath and Francesca Lia Block (there's just something about her prose that reads like poetry that I love.)
3. I too enjoy Dystopian Novels. I also love books like The Bell Jar.
4. Romance and possibly sci-fi.
5. Wuthering Heights. I threw the book after every page. I gave up on it when I chucked it for the last time.
6. Hard choice. But I love Mab from I Was A Teenage Fairy. I also love Sirius Black and the HP trio in general. And I love my misguided Emma from Emma. (I couldn't pick just one.)
ardiramidus
Apr. 14th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
Salinger and Sirius Black <3
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walker_sarah
Apr. 14th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
What's the last book you enjoyed reading? I am reading The Arabian Nights for school and I think it's quite OK
Name an author you admire a lot. Agatha Christie and JRR Tolkien
What's your favourite genre of literature? I don't have any favourite, I try to read every genre as possible as I can
And what's your least favourite one?but I don't like religious books so they are my least faves
A book you hated or you couldn't finish. I couldn't finish first Twilight book which my friend gave me. It was so bad.
Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character? I love Hercule Pairot and Sherlock Holmes/Dr.Watson
neuers
Apr. 14th, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Wonderful holiday! :')

What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
Well, I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire right now in preparation for the HBO show and I'm ejoying it very much.

Name an author you admire a lot.
Phillip Pullman. And I'm not sure I admire them but I really like Chuck Palahniuk, Nick Hornby, Ian McEwan and Sylvia Plath.

What's your favourite genre of literature?
Fiction, fantasy but I read almost everything I can.

And what's your least favourite one? Um, I have a hard time getting into romantic cheesy books like Twilight.

A book you hated or you couldn't finish. Hee, Twilight. I tried to read it to see why a lot of my friends were obsessed with it and I still don't get it.

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character? Lyra Belacqua! And I really love Ron Weasly too.
kitty69lover
Apr. 14th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
here for McEwan love! what's your fav of his?
(no subject) - neuers - Apr. 15th, 2011 03:12 am (UTC) - Expand
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chicinpink
Apr. 14th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
What a fun idea!

What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (and currently attempting to reread A Game of Thrones before the show starts)

Name an author you admire a lot.
Ian McEwan

What's your favourite genre of literature?
Any? Though I'm picky about my historical fiction.

And what's your least favourite one?
Romance.

A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Couldn't finish it--I'm not usually squeamish about violence in fiction, but for some reason this was a bit much for me.

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?
Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle.
abfabregas
Apr. 14th, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC)
This is the AWESOMEST IDEA EVER Laura. ETS UNA REINA (??!!?)

What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson. It's about the history and the evolution of the English language, and language in general (HUUUGE linguistics freak here), it's a little outdated (1990) but great nevertheless, recommending asap!
Name an author you admire a lot.
Haruki Murakami. Anne Frank. (she's an author!)

What's your favourite genre of literature?
Hmm. I don't exactly know the literary term for it. Existential, contemplative, all about ~feelings~ and confessions about ~tortured ~souls~ blabla....let's put it this way. My favourite book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. also love Kafka's letters where he basically said how much he hates himself etc. Joy!

And what's your least favourite one?
I don't really have a least favourite genre I don't think..

A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
I always finish books no matter what but the book I hated the most was Lord of the Flies..ugh. UGHHHHHHH. Also, I didn't love 1984 either. Dont get me wrong, it was amazingly written and brilliantly devised,but I just wouldn't want to read it again. haha. idek.

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book character?
Going to be cliche, but it's definitely Holden Caulfield. Also Tereza from the Unbearable Lightness of Being. And....Mia from the Princess Diaries. because.
firehigher
Apr. 14th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
What's the last book you enjoyed reading?
Stuart, a life backwards- alexander masters. Eye opening, tbh

Name an author you admire a lot
CS Lewis

What's your favourite genre of literature?
All fiction tbh

And what's your least favourite one?
I'll read most anything, but don't like a lot of these supernatural ones.

A book you hated or you couldn't finish.
Flowers in the attic

Who's your favourite (or one of your favourites) book characters
Remus lupin lol
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( 80 comments )

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