We were at Borough Market selling Catalan books in translation and celebrating St. George / Sant Jordi, the patron saint of England and Catalonia, and of farmers, shepherds and butchers. There’ll be food demonstrations and English and Catalan specialities to see and buy in the Market Hall, together with live music, theatre, folk dancing and storytelling from both the English and Catalan traditions.
We’ll be supporting the romantic Catalan custom of exchanging roses and books with their loved ones. The idea could not be simpler: traditionally men offered roses to women and in exchange for the flowers the women gave books as gifts. Nowadays, both men and women exchange books and roses. This ritual has now become so popular with all generations that 5 million roses and 1.6 million books were sold in Catalonia last year on Sant Jordi’s Day.
Josep Suarez, Head of the Delegation of the Catalan Government to the UK and Ireland said: “Catalonia and England will join forces to celebrate together their common patron St. George. On 24 April Borough Market becomes a meeting point to make Catalan culture and tradition known among English society. I hope you will enjoy with us this romantic day when couples exchange books and roses.”
Keith Davis, Managing Director of Borough Market said: “We are looking forward to throwing open Borough Market’s doors for our annual celebration of St. George’s Day. This very special event reflects our heritage in celebrating the feast of St. George and it is the perfect way for people to come together to eat, relax and enjoy this multi-cultural celebration. We look forward to seeing you there!”