PODCAST: Books, roses and legends - Celebrating Sant Jordi in Catalonia

Filling the Sink joins the yearly celebration of love and books

A bookseller with a dragon hat on Sant Jordi
A bookseller with a dragon hat on Sant Jordi / Jordi Borràs
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 24, 2024 11:29 AM

April 29, 2024 10:50 AM

Sant Jordi or Saint George is the patron saint of Catalonia, and April 23 is the Catalan version of Valentine’s Day when Catalans celebrate love, roses, romance, and also books. 

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This week's episode is special because we didn’t record it in the familiar confines of our studio. Instead, we recorded live from the bookshop Backstory in the heart of Barcelona. 

On this Sant Jordi episode, we explain what makes this day so special and why people give each other roses and books. We will also tell the story of the legend of Sant Jordi, which involves a knight, a dragon, and a princess without the typical happy ending. 

We share book recommendations and find out how this day of love became World Book Day promoted by UNESCO in 1995. 

It wouldn’t be Sant Jordi without hitting the rose-strewn streets, so we meet up with international authors Monika Zgustová, Hernan Díaz, and Sohn Won-pyung, talk to people on the streets of the Catalan capital and we hear from Vicki, co-owner of the Hibernian English-language bookshop, as well as Kate and Abby, who opened Backstory only back in February of 2024. 

Lea Beliaeva Bander is joined by the whole Catalan News team, Gerard Escaich Folch, Oriol Escudé Macià, Lorcan Doherty, Cillian Shields, and Ona Van Dyck Colomer.

The Catalan phrase of the week is the Sant Jordi appropriate 'Hi havia una vegada, which means 'Once upon a time'. 

Get in touch with the podcast team: fillingthesink@acn.cat.

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