sant jordi

Sant Jordi's Day: Book recommendations

April 21, 2016 07:47 PM | ACN

Sant Jordi’s Day is not only a huge festival for Catalonia, but for the printing and publishing industry as well. Annually, book sales during the festival weekend contribute between 5 and 8 percent of yearly profits. In 2015, the Catalan Booksellers Guild reported that 1.5 million books had been sold in Catalonia during the Sant Jordi festival, bringing in roughly €19.2 million. If last year’s trends where buyers bought more than one book during the festival continue, sales could be even higher for printed books of varying topics and genres. This year’s predicted top-selling books for Sant Jordi cover everything from ways to tidy up and organise your home to psychological thrillers and island mysteries.

More than 500 activities throughout Catalonia to celebrate Sant Jordi

April 21, 2016 01:54 PM | ACN

To celebrate Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia, various cities and towns throughout Catalonia will host a variety of events, including the more traditional vigil of Sant Jordi on the 22nd of April and the blessing of the roses, but also extending to more than 500 events all over the territory. Such events span staged readings, museum open houses, meetings with writers, dances, open air recitals, and poetry readings. Additionally, more linguistically focused events will take place which will focus on the local language and culture, promoted by the linguistic normalisation centres (CNLs), which aim to promote the use of Catalan in its different forms. Meanwhile, Montblanc, a town which is said to be the home of the legend of dragon slayer Sant Jordi, will host the 29th edition of the Medieval Week of the Legend of Sant Jordi festival in conjunction with the day of Sant Jordi itself. 

Sant Jordi to be celebrated in nearly 150 cities worldwide

April 20, 2016 11:10 AM | ACN

People all over the world celebrate one of Catalonia’s most beloved festivals, Sant Jordi’s Day, in different ways. This year, over 40 countries have planned well over 100 activities throughout the week of the 23rd of April through the first days of May. Through a collaboration between the University Network of Catalan studies abroad as well as the Ramon Llull Institute and the Catalan Government, activities celebrating love, literature, and Catalan culture have been scheduled across Europe as well as North and South America. This year, activities including everything from Instagram contests to a project encouraging students across continents to update and extend Wikipedia articles on the Catalan philosopher and writer Ramon Llull, to whom Catalonia dedicates all the cultural activities this 2016, have been scheduled. 

Sant Jordi on the 23rd of April, one of Catalonia’s most beloved days

April 19, 2016 07:19 PM | ACN

Since the 15th century, Catalonia has been celebrating the feast day of Sant Jordi (Saint George) on the 23rd of April. Each year, people flock to the streets to celebrate this Catalan equivalent to Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, on Sant Jordi’s Day men presented their lovers with roses, while women gave their lovers a book in return. Today, both men and women give roses and books to their friends, family, and partners as a way to celebrate love and literature. More than 500 activities related to Sant Jordi and literature will be held all over Catalonia, although Barcelona is set to be the epicentre, with hundreds of stalls selling roses, bookshops taking their catalogue to the squares and renowned writers signing their novelties and meeting their fans. In the last years, Sant Jordi has also gained international recognition and will be celebrated in more than 40 countries all over the globe.

Barcelona becomes a UNESCO City of Literature

December 11, 2015 07:02 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona's candidacy has convinced UNESCO's directors, international experts and the Creative Cities Network and has this Friday joined the list of UNESCO Cities of Literature. From now on, the Catalan capital will have to promote literature, integrate culture into its economic and social development plans and collaborate with the other Creative Cities. The Catalan capital presented the richness of its literary heritage in both the Catalan and Spanish languages and the international power of its editorial sector as some of its main assets. However, the celebration of Saint Jordi, Catalonia's patron day, when Catalans exchange books and roses with their loved ones, has been the focus of the candidacy. In fact, UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated on the 23rd of April, the same day as the Saint Jordi celebrations.

Barcelona, an unmissable stop for international music

November 30, 2015 10:06 AM | Sara Prim

Madonna, U2, Bjork and Kate Perry are just some of the international artists that chose Barcelona as their only stop in Spain on their international tours in 2015. During the first half of 2016, Adele and Coldplay's only tour dates in Spain will also be in Barcelona. The Catalan capital is also famous for its festivals, such as Primavera Sound, Sonar, Festival del Mil·leni and the International Jazz Festival, which attract hundreds of thousands of  people from all over the world. This Thursday, a less mass-oriented festival, Guitar BCN, announced its programme and it will also be able to count on international names. Former Oasis leader Noel Gallagher and his band High Flying Birds will be amongst them, as well as the emotional pop-rock of James Bay and the Cuban music ambassadors, Buena Vista Social Club, whom added Barcelona to the list of cities that will be part of their farewell tour. 

U2 rock in first of four shows in Barcelona

October 6, 2015 11:57 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Irish band didn’t fail to delight the 17,900 people that attended the band’s first of four shows in Barcelona, which are the only ‘The Innocence + Experience Tour’ dates in Spain. The show combined songs from their latest album, ‘Songs of Innocence’, with hits such as ‘With or Without You’, ‘One’ and ‘Beautiful Day’, amongst others. The audio-visual projections played a very important role during the entire show, with a big screen that melted with the band members at some points. U2, whose last visit to Barcelona was in 2009, have almost sold out all four shows. 

The feast of Our Lady of Montserrat: A Catholic celebration with a Catalan nationalist twist

April 27, 2015 11:05 PM | Shobha Prabhu-Naik Garaialde

The 27th of April is the feast day of the Mare de Déu deMontserrat,Our Lady of Montserrat, or as she is more affectionately called in Catalonia, la Moreneta, "the little dark-skinned one". One of the only black images of the Virgin Mary in Europe, the Virgin of Montserrat is the patron saint of all dioceses in Catalonia and together with St. George (Sant Jordi) is considered the patron saint of the territory. In recent history, she has also become a symbol for Catalan national identity and Catholic Catalan nationalism. Up in the mountains of Montserrat, the Santa María abbey celebrated on Monday with a mass dedicated to the Virgin, and outside in the main square there were numerous traditional activities including people making human towers (castells), music bands and food stalls, as well as groups dancing the traditional Catalan dance, La Sardana.

Sant Jordi 2015: the sun shines as loved ones exchange roses and books

April 23, 2015 08:53 PM | Shobha Prabhu-Naik Garaialde

Like in 11 other countries around the world, Catalans celebrate their national patron saint, St. George the dragon-slayer, on the 23rd of April every year. In Catalonia, however, rather than an occasion entrenched in patriotism, Sant Jordi is revered as the lovers' day and the book's day, on which loved ones demonstrate their affection for one another with the exchange of roses and books. The sun is shining and the buzzing atmosphere that fills the streets means that just walking along Les Rambles is enough of an adventure on a Sant Jordi Day such as this one. Rose sales have exceeded those of last year by 7%. The best-selling books this year have been 'Algú com tu' by Xavier Bosch (fiction) and 'És l'hora del adéus' by Xavier Sala i Martín (non-fiction) in Catalan and 'Destino, la Templanza' by María Dueñas (fiction) and 'MasterChef. Grandes platos para todos los días' by Jordi Cruz (non-fiction) in Spanish. In total, 1.5 million books will have been sold by the end of the day.

Catalans celebrate Sant Jordi Day by exchanging roses and books with their loved ones

April 22, 2015 10:38 PM | ACN

On the 23rd of April, Catalans celebrate the day of their patron saint, Jordi (Saint George). The day is Catalonia's equivalent to Valentine's Day in the Anglo-Saxon world but it is also a day that pays homage to worldwide literature and reading. Men and women offer books and roses to those they love: relatives, friends, work colleagues and particularly to lovers and partners. Every year introduces twists to the tradition with 2015 presenting the 'TecnoRose' amongst other innovative designs. In addition, many authors spend the day touring around to give readers signed copies of their books. The amount of books sold this year is expected to follow the success and exceed the sales of 2014. 'El món blau. Estima el teu caos' by Albert Espinosa and 'La templanza' by Maria Dueñas are predicted to be among the bestsellers.

‘El Niño’ and ‘Stella Cadente’ lead the race for the Gaudí Awards, the Catalan ‘Oscars’

January 31, 2015 07:34 PM | Marta Castillo / Georgina Garriga

Catalan cinema is getting ready for the 7th edition of its annual ‘Oscars’ ceremony, the Gaudí Awards. The event, organised by the Catalan Film Academy, will take place next Sunday at the Sant Jordi Club in Barcelona and will be hosted by the Catalan actor and theatre director Àngel Llàcer. ‘El Niño’, the Catalan co-production directed by Daniel Monzón, and ‘Stella Cadente’, directed by Luis Miñarro, compete in the Best Director, Best Film and Best Script categories with 15 and 13 nominations, respectively. They are followed by the horror film ‘[REC]4: Apocalipsis’, with nine nominations, together with ‘10,000km’ and ‘Rastres de Sàndal’, with eight nominations each.  

Barcelona Olympic facilities to host a 66.000 m2 sports theme park in 2015

July 18, 2014 05:45 PM | ACN

Barcelona Olympic Ring will become the home of the first theme park in the world entirely dedicated to sports, called Open Camp Sportainment. According to the company responsible for the project, the 66.000 m2 theme park will offer a "unique" show involving technology, family and sports. The new attraction will occupy the current Olympic Stadium, the Palau Sant Jordi sports hall, the Olympic Museum, the Bernat Picornell swimming pool, the telecommunications tower designed by Santiago Calatrava and the INEFC sports faculty. All these facilities will combine their regular activities with those of the theme park, which will be open from April to October. The project expects 7,000 visitors per day and an annual economic impact for Barcelona of 53 million euros.  

Sant Jordi 2014: sun shines on Catalan festival of books and roses

April 24, 2014 03:35 PM | Simão Chambel

Perhaps the most famous holiday in Catalonia, Sant Jordi combines culture with romance as books and roses are exchanged. As we all know by now, the legend of Saint George is a celebration of love epitomized by the brave knight who saved a princess from a terrible dragon thus harvesting a beautiful rose from its blood. So how did that become a day for buying and promoting books? Back in 1928, some Catalan booksellers decided to promote the holiday by setting some bookstalls all over the city to celebrate the anniversary of the death of two of the biggest names in literature, Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Catalan Book Day was born and it would be declared World Book Day by UNESCO in 1995. The day after the Easter break combined with great weather resulted in a 3% increase in book sales. Swedish author Jonas Jonasson, Spanish authors Almudena Grandes and Pilar Urbano and Catalan writer and athlete Kilian Jornet were the bestsellers for 2014.

Catalan President insists citizens will vote after Rajoy asks him to give up referendum plans to start talking

April 23, 2014 09:40 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, has insisted that he will call for the consultation vote on Catalonia's independence, despite the Spanish Government's obstructive attitude. Mas was answering Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who asked him to give up on his referendum plans in order to start talking. For the Catalan President, this is not an offer to talk but "an imposition". Mas insists that the reason for not allowing Catalans to vote is not legal, since several legal ways have been identified to organise such a vote, but a lack of political will from the Spanish authorities. The Catalan President sent a clear message to the European Union: "the dynamics of states cannot drown the dynamics of peoples". He emphasised that the democratic will of the Catalan people has to be taken into account by the EU. Furthermore he praised Catalonia for being an example of "integrating people with very diverse origins […] without falling into populist and xenophobic movements", which "have been emerging in Europe lately".

Offering books and roses to the beloved ones: Catalans celebrate Sant Jordi Day

April 23, 2014 12:23 PM | ACN

On the 23rd of April, Catalans celebrate one of their dearest festivities of the year: Sant Jordi (Saint George). The day is Catalonia's equivalent to Valentine's Day in the Anglo-Saxon world but it also represents a homage to literature and reading. Traditionally men offered red roses to their girlfriends or wives, and women offered a book in return. Nowadays, both men and women offer books and roses to those they love, whether their life partners, relatives, friends or even work colleagues. On almost every corner and on the main streets throughout Catalonia there are stands selling either roses or books. It is the day celebrating love but also the most important day for the publishing industry, selling around 8% of their yearly sales and advertising the latest gimmicks. In a country with 7.5 million people, some 7 million roses are sold and around 1.5 million books on this single day.