Catalonia: Sant Jordi in Barcelona

Sant Jordi is Catalonia’s version of Valentine’s Day meets Independence Day, Saint George being the patron saint of Barcelona and Catalonia. On this day, the city gets transformed into the colors of yellow and red – those of the Catalan national flag, as thousands of people come into the streets. The tradition is that men give women yellow or red roses with ribbons, while women give men books, and love is in the air. Open-air book stores are impromptu set up along every street and everybody seems to be selling roses and ribbons and anything else that’s yellow and red. Major churches and buildings get decorated with flowers and Catalan flags are flying everywhere. Cassa Batllo gets particular makeover with every balcony bursting with red roses. It’s also a good day to remember the squashed independence referendum.