Saturday, 23 April 2011

La Diada de Sant Jordi Lovers Day

23 RD April...
a date for the diary

La Diada de Sant Jordi, also known as el dia de la rosa (The Day of the Rose)

or el dia del llibre (The Day of the Book) is a Catalan holiday held on 23 April,

with similarities to Valentine's Day

and some unique twists that reflect the antiquity of the celebrations.

The main event is the exchange of gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and respected ones. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men abook to celebrate the occasion—"a rose for love and a book forever." In modern times, the mutual exchange of books is also customary. Roses have been associated with this day since medieval times, but the giving of books is a more recent tradition originating in 1923, when a bookseller started to promote the holiday as a way to commemorate the nearly simultaneous deaths of Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare on 23 April 1616.Barcelona is the publishing capital of both Catalan and Spanish languages and the combination of love and literacy was quickly adopted.

In Barcelona's most visited street, La Rambla, and all over Catalonia, thousands of stands of roses and makeshift bookstalls are hastily set up for the occasion. By the end of the day, some four million roses and 800,000 books will have been purchased. Most women will carry a rose in hand, and half of the total yearly book sales in Catalonia take place on this occasion.

To the world you may be one person,
but to one person you may be the world.

- Bill Wilson -

The sardana, the national dance of Catalonia, is performed throughout the day in the Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona. Many book stores and cafes host readings by authors (including 24-hour marathon readings of Cervantes'

"Don Quixote"). Street performers and musicians in public squares add to the day's atmosphere.

23 April is also the only day of the year when the Palau de la Generalitat, Barcelona's principal government building, is open to the public. The interior is decorated with roses to honour Saint George.

The ancient Crown of Aragon, the Feast of St George is celebrated enthusiastically in the Community of Aragon,

being the country's patron saint and its national day.

On 23 April, Aragon celebrates its "Diya d'Aragón" (Day of Aragon) in commemoration of the Battle of Alcoraz

(Baralla d'Alcoraz in Aragoneese), on which Huesca was conquered by the Aragonese army

and in which tradition says that

St George appeared at a critical moment for theChristian Army, aiding them to win it for the "True Faith".

As in Catalonia, roses and books are exchanged among individuals, often bearing ribbons with the colors of Aragon's flag.

If you notice someone's face is
Looking rather low
Come along beside them
And let your caring show

Place your arm around them
And give a little squeeze
There's nothing like a hug to
Give the heart some ease!
~ Jennifer Byerly ~

We sat side by side in the morning light
and looked out at the future together.

- Brian Andres -

When you love someone,
all your saved-up wishes start coming out.

- Elizabeth Bowen -


St.Georges Day

A traditional custom at this time was to wear a red rose in one's lapel,
though with changes in fashion this is no longer common.

Another custom is to fly or adorn the St George's Cross flag in some way:
pubs in particular can be seen on 23 April festooned with garlands of St George's crosses.

St George's Day is celebrated by the several nations, kingdoms, countries,
and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint.
Most countries which observe St George's Day celebrate it on 23 April,
the traditionally accepted date of Saint George's death in 303 AD.
This day is May 6 for Eastern Orthodox Old Calendarists, who use the Julian calendar.

What Is It That I Love?

If asked why I love her I would say
It’s the sway in her hips,
the thickness in her thighs.
It’s the lust in her lips,
the love in her eyes.
It’s the softness of her skin,
the silk in her hair.
It’s the twist in her walk;
it’s the sweetness in her talk.
It’s the way she loves me
that makes me love her each day.
That is what I would say.

- Justin Hutchins -

What is a hug?

A hug is something special
A hug can give such joy
A hug can bring a little smile
To every girl and boy
A hug can say a thousand words
Without a single spoken one
A hug can put things right again
When everything seems wrong
A hug can be a lovely thing
It doesn't have to contain a touch
A hug can be on paper
The word 'hug' just means so much
So I'm sending you a special hug
Not physical, it's true
But this hug is sent to let you know
I think the world of you

~ Yvonne Lowther ~