23 April is approaching, the Day of Sant Jordi, and with it the cherished Catalan tradition of giving a rose and a book.
And do you know why these are given? Let me tell you a story:
Hundreds of years ago, the inhabitants of the Catalan village of Montblanc lived in terror of an enormous and ferocious dragon. To placate its rage, they carried out human sacrifices and when it was the turn of a princess, the brave knight Sant Jordi, also known as Saint George, put an end to the dragon. According to the legend, a rose bush replete with red roses started to grow from the blood of the dragon. The knight plucked the most beautiful of all and presented it as a gift to the princess.
The reason for giving a book on Sant Jordi’s Day on the other hand is more rooted in history: to mark the fact that 23 April is the anniversary of the deaths of two great literary figures: William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes.
So the rose and the book coincide on the same date to pay homage to history and legend, fantasy and reality: a highly topical and influential duality in the development of humanity.
The range is enormous and varied but, forced to choose, this year we recommend the following books without hesitation:
Reading is a pleasure that we sometimes don’t engage in as much as we’d like for lack of time. Holidays provide an ideal time for rediscovering the habit of reading, and better still if it’s done in a setting of peace and tranquillity like Hotels VIVA.
Happy Sant Jordi’s Day!
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