La Diada de Sant Jordi

la diada de sant jordi

April 23rd, 2012

Like England, Cataluña’s patron saint is St. George (Sant Jordi). On La Dia de Sant Jordi, the people of Barcelona fly the flag of St. George and the day’s become synonymous with books, roses and love. In 1923 an enterprising bookseller connected St. George’s day with the day that both Cervantes and Shakespeare died and it’s become National Book Day – now World Book Day, since UNESCO adopted it in 1995.

St. George’s day is also known as El dia de la Rosa, the most romantic day of the year (akin to Valentine’s Day), because the St. George legend says he slew a dragon to save a princess and where the dragon’s blood fell, a rosebush sprouted. St. George picked a red rose from the rosebush and gave it to the princess. In Barcelona, the men give their girlfriends a rose and the women give their boyfriends a book. The whole of the Ramblas (the main thoroughfare through the old city) is closed to traffic, hundreds of rose and book stalls line the streets and the romantics are out in force. It’s almost impossible to cross the Ramblas due to the crowds or get into the Metro station at Plaça Cataluña.

pa st. jordi

I was delighted to come across some St. George’s Bread (Pa St. Jordi), it’s made with Sobrassada (a Balearic/Catalan cured sausage made with pork, pimentón and black pepper – it reminds me a bit of cured chorizo) and cheese. When sliced the bread should resemble the Catalan flag, four red bands on a yellow background. It tastes very good, a bit like a savoury brioche.

eat meat gallery

We went up to the Eat Meat Gallery (who had their own romantic art book stall), for a second showing of the Homage to Cataluña film.

making jelly

Getting into the spirit of St. George’s day, I mixed up a new batch of photo jelly,

rose essence

but this time with gin and rose essence.

rose jelly

Once again the jellies seemed popular.

st. jordi estrella

During the afternoon, we’d come across someone, who I think was homeless, but who’d nevertheless risen to the occasion. He’d made a brilliant cross of Sant Jordi out of red Estrella beer cans (outside the church of Santa Maria del Mar). In spirit he would have fitted into the Homage to Cataluña photo shoot and book, perfectly – I couldn’t help wishing he’d been there!

About Mad Dog
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Drink, Food, Meat, Shopping, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to La Diada de Sant Jordi

  1. The pa St Jordi sounds good – I love sobressada and what a great idea to make a flag-based bread! I like the Estrella cross too.

  2. zestybeandog says:

    The bread sounds wonderful and fun!

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    Sounds like quite a celebration, MD. I’d no idea that the Feast of St. George (Jordi) was commemorated there, too. When I saw the name sobrassada I thought of the Italian sausage sopressata. Other than both being made of pork, though, I think they’ve little else in common. Regardless, I would love to have a taste of that bread. I know I would have enjoyed it.

  4. The jellies are a very neat idea as is the cross made from beer cans which is certainly worthy of being a clear emblem of modern Britain even though it took a Catalan to create it.

  5. Now, I am as much a fan of roses as any other girl, and books too…but given the choice I´d go for the bun! Looks like a great day. When are you going to explain these photo jellies and how you make them to us, I am so curious?!

    • Mad Dog says:

      It’s amazing how much the book and flower thing has grown over the last 20 years!
      There’s not really much to the jellies, the photos have to be edible (rice paper and comestible ink) and the jelly is whatever you want it to taste of mixed with gelatine 😉

  6. Audrey Evermore says:

    Goodness… you’ll be recreating the Last Supper next !
    If you die from having too much of a good time, dont blame England OK !

  7. Karen says:

    You certainly do live a fun and exuberant life.

  8. Pingback: Día de Sant Jordi | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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