Best places to celebrate 2022 Sant Jordi in Catalonia
Barcelona, Girona, Tarragona, and Lleida prepare hundreds of cultural activities
Millions of Catalans express their love on Sant Jordi, April 23. This day marks Catalonia’s love day, much bigger than Saint Valentine’s. People walk around the streets with books and roses that they will gift to their loved ones. After the last two years marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, cities have prepared hundreds of cultural activities.
Thousands of book and rose stands have been installed across the territory, some in front of bookstores while others have designated areas around the cities.
On Sant Jordi, tradition states that men will give a rose to their loved ones, while women gift a book. This practice has changed over the recent years as now everyone can buy whatever they prefer.
Streets are full of stands from professionals but also organizations, NGOs, students planning for an end-of-course trip, or friends trying to get some extra money.
Barcelona, a literature superblock
The Catalan capital will be one of the main hotspots in the territory during 2022 Sant Jordi. The city council has organized a superblock in the city center that will see over 300 stands from professionals.
This is a similar idea to 2021’s celebration, but this time without any Covid-19 restrictions, and with a record-high number of stands.
The area stretches from Passeig de Gràcia street to La Rambla de Catalunya boulevard, and from Diagonal avenue to Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes. Cars will not be allowed to drive in this superblock except for Aragó and València streets.
Other streets included in this Sant Jordi super area also have flower and book stands where writers sign books and meet with fans.
But Barcelona has plenty of places set up for Sant Jordi’s celebrations. Bookstores can install their stands in front of their establishments as well as in the city’s superblock. But flowers and books can also be bought in Plaça de la Universitat square, in Plaça Reial, near Las Ramblas, and in Passeig Sant Joan and Passeig Lluís Companys boulevards, where the Arc del Triomf is.
After not celebrating the last two editions because of Covid-19, Passeig Sant Joan has, once again, several stands focusing on comics, manga, and juvenile literature.
Girona, an indoors Sant Jordi
Rain has changed all plans in the northern city of Girona. The city council announced on Thursday that the Sant Jordi market with books and roses had to be moved indoors to the Palau Firal exhibition hall.
Book and rose stands were intended to be in the Passeig de la Devesa boulevard and in Copa esplanade, as last year. The rain has prevented organizers from repeating the format, but the free entry exhibition hall is open between 9 am and 9 pm on Saturday, April 23.
Several entities will set up their stands indoors, ranging from professionals to NGOs, schools, and political parties.
Before the change of scenery, several authors planned to sign their books outdoors, such as former Catalan president Quim Torra, or writers Quim Nadal and Rafael Nadal.
Tarragona, repeating the 2021 Sant Jordi format
In the south of Catalonia, Tarragona has prepared a format for Sant Jordi similar to last year’s edition. April 23 will see the main activity in la Rambla Nova boulevard where social and cultural entities, as well as politicians, professionals, and schools, have set up their stands.
Another of the hotspots during Sant Jordi in Tarragona is the Adserà bookstore. There, dozens of writers are scheduled to sign their latest novels and meet with their fans.
Reus, a big literature square
Nearby Tarragona, the city of Reus, is planning one of the biggest Sant Jordi festivities in Catalonia. This year, Plaça Mercadal square is the center for book and rose stands, but the city council is adding two more unique locations.
Plaça del Prim square, one of the most iconic and centric areas in Reus, and Santa Anna boulevard creating a big Sant Jordi square that leads toward Plaça Mercadal.
The city council decided to enlarge the Sant Jordi space as they expected more residents and visitors to go to Reus after the last two years had been marked by the coronavirus.
Reus is also known for the number of professional writers it has and, since last year, all of them wrote up to 117 new books combined.
Lleida, 12-hour non-stop celebration
Catalonia’s Sant Jordi is not only celebrated in the east of the territory, as the western inland city of Lleida has also planned a 12-hour non-stop celebration.
In Sant Joan square establishments will place their stands, while books and roses will be available on Francesc Macià avenue.
On this road, the Leandre Cristòfor school of art has placed a red carpet-style backdrop banner for everyone to take their pictures during Sant Jordi’s day.
At La Paeria, the Lleida city hall, visitors can get a free copy of ‘Escata de drac, relats de Sant Jordi’ book, written by several authors including Màrius Blàvia, Carme Casanovas, and Ivet Eroles.
All the activities start at 9 am and finish at 9 pm.