Sant Jordi 2015: Celebrating World Book Day
Come to celebrate with the Casal Català the first Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George Day) that will transform the centric neighborhood of Dupont Circle into a festival of books and roses.
Washingtonians are invited to join from 11 am till 5 pm a street book fair at Dupont Circle in search for that special book for their beloved ones. A number of well known book stores in Washington will be taking part in the event by installing stands around the pond in Dupont Circle to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading.
A book drive to gather books will be an important part of the event. Washingtonians will be encouraged to buy books from participating booksellers for donation in exchange for a Sant Jordi rose. Storytelling, book exchange, arts and crafts and food amenities, will also commemorate a more than a hundred year-old Catalan tradition.
The Sant Jordi’s Day, celebrated in Spain on April 23rd to commerate his death on that date in the year 303 AD, was proclaimed as the World Book Day by UNESCO in 1995 to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors. April 23rd is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
Sant Jordi’s celebration is inspired by the legend of Saint George. After it, Sant Jordi slew a dragon to save a princess and then plucked a red rose for the princess from a rose bush, which had sprouted on the exact spot, where the dragon’s red blood had spilled.