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International journalists get ready to discover Catalonia’s day of love, Sant Jordi

Italian, German, and British reporters experience tradition of gifting books and roses to loved ones firsthand

International journalists from Germany, Italy, Colombia, and the United Kingdom during a visit to the Ateneu Barcelonès cultural venue on April 21, 2023
International journalists from Germany, Italy, Colombia, and the United Kingdom during a visit to the Ateneu Barcelonès cultural venue on April 21, 2023 / Gerard Escaich Folch
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 21, 2023 05:34 PM

April 21, 2023 06:40 PM

Catalans consider April 23 the most beautiful day of the year as Sant Jordi marks Catalonia’s day of love. But as that claim may be biased, several international journalists will be able to judge whether it is true during this year’s celebrations. 

"At Diplocat, we also organize an international visitors program, inviting journalists from different countries around the world to come to Catalonia and to live the day of Sant Jordi first hand," Laura Foraster, the secretary-general of Diplocat, a public-private consortium aimed at fostering dialogue and building relationships between Catalonia and the rest of the world, said to Catalan News. 

For several years now, the organization has been inviting several international journalists to experience the tradition firsthand on the streets, where residents gift books and roses to their loved ones. 


This year, Diplocat invited eight journalists from Germany, Colombia, Croatia, Great Britain, Italy, Morocco, and Portugal, some of which to experience Sant Jordi for the first time.

"I'm very much looking forward to Sant Jordi. I've been waiting all my life for this day of love," Claire Armitstead, a journalist for The Guardian, told this media outlet.

"It is the first time I have been here, but I know, of course, about it, partly because [Catalans] share this national day with [Brits], because it's Shakespeare's birthday, as well as Cervantes' birthday, so it is an important day across Europe," she added.

Meanwhile, Martin Ling, a journalist at the German newspaper, nd.Aktuell, has been in Barcelona many times and even once for Sant Jordi.

"I remember Sant Jordi because it was a very nice day, with a lot of people and pupils on the streets, and it was very nice, and I like reading literature. I know Catalan writers Albert Sánchez Piñol and Mercè Rodoreda, and for that reason, I have a relation also to the literature of Catalonia, not only for the football," he said.

Journalists have been on a tour around Barcelona ahead of the special day, on Sunday, with a private meeting with foreign affairs minister Meritxell Serret, before going to the Ateneu Barcelonès cultural venue. 

Similar to last year, when Sant Jordi celebrations were returning to normal following the Covid-19 pandemic, journalists are being showed bookstores across the city. Other cultural activities include visiting the Palau de la Música concert hall, and attending a 'Castellers' human towers show in the southern seaside town of Sitges.

Just before departing, reporters will go to a Catalan music group Companyia Elèctrica Dharma concert at the Palau Sant Jordi hall.