"Barcelona's best day? Easy. April 23rd, Saint George's Day, La Diada de Sant Jordi, Barcelona's Valentine's day. A day when kissometer readings go off the charts, a day so sweet and playful, so goofy and romantic, that 6 million Catalans go giddy from dawn to dusk. Patron Saint of Catalonia, international knight-errant Saint George allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful princess in the south of Barcelona. From the dragon's blood sprouted a rosebush, from which the hero plucked the prettiest for the princess.
Hence the traditional Rose Festival celebrated in Barcelona since the Middle Ages to honor chivalry and romantic love, a day for men and mice alike to give their true loves roses. In 1923, the lovers' fest merged with International Book Day to mark the anniversary of the all but simultaneous April 23, 1616 deaths of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Over four million roses and half a million books are sold in Catalonia on Sant Jordi's Day, men giving their inamoratas roses and the ladies giving books in return."
To get to the metro station, I cross the street by a small school. Earlier this morning as I waited for the light to turn green, I saw a little boy proudly hand his mother a bouquet of roses and recite a poem. She cried. :)
It's beautiful in Barcelona this April 23, 2008. The skies are clear and bright blue, the sun is out, the temperature is an absolutely fantastic 15ºC, and rose petals litter the streets with flashes of vibrant color everywhere. Flower vendors and make-shifts shops stand nearly every ten steps, everyone was clutching roses on the train, and people all around generally seem to be in high spirits. I got a flower from the President (UNICEF), AND Si and I get dinner cooked for us tonight.
Happy Barcelona Valentine's Day!