Every year on April 23rd, Barcelona erupts in a celebration of chivalry and romance. It all began in the Middle Ages with an annual Festival of Roses to honor St. George, Patron Saint of Catalonia. A brave Roman soldier, he allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful young princess. According to legend, a rosebush then sprouted from the blood of the slain dragon and the soldier plucked its most perfect blossoms to give to the princess as a remembrance.
In 1923, the traditional Rose Festival merged with International Book Day, established to celebrate the lives of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, both of whom died on April 23rd in 1616. Now, bookstalls and flower stands sprout up along the Rambla, a two-mile stretch connecting the city with the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of Barcelonans crowd the streets to enjoy a festive atmosphere of readings, music, literature, and dance. And rare is the woman without a rose-or the man without a book tucked under his arm.
The Tattered Cover is delighted to honor this springtime celebration of culture, beauty, intelligence, and love. Complimentary roses and bookmarks will be available on April 23 with the purchase of a book; while supplies last. As always, we’ll be happy to turn your purchases into lovely wrapped gifts at no extra charge.