Growing up in Barcelona, we celebrate our own version of Valentine's Day, in our own special style. We call it Sant Jordi Day or “La Diada de Sant Jordi”and it takes place on April 23rd each year. Sant. Jordi Day is like Valentine's Day on steroids!
Saint Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia (and of Chivalry) and every year we celebrate his life on the anniversary of his death. It's a celebration that has a lot in common with Valentine's Day but for us, it's bigger and better. Just like us Catalans, the celebrations are chaotic and loud and passionate and usually spill out onto the streets of the city. The Catalan tradition is to give your female partner roses and give your male partner a book. The booksellers of Barcelona move their stores onto the footpaths for the day and we have a real carnival atmosphere. It is the Catalan tradition of giving books on Sant Jordi Day that is the origin of the World Book Day celebrations that take place wordwide every year. (1st March in Ireland & UK and 23rd April in the rest of the World).
Even though Sant. Jordi Day has nothing in common with the English, St. Georges Day, it does have something to do with Dragons and Princesses and Knights in Shining Armour. I've never been a girly girl and I've always preferred to receive a book instead of roses on St. Jordis Day but for some reason, at this time of year, as Valentine's approaches, my inner princess comes out. And do you know what? I let her.
For the rest of the year, I am a hard working mother, wife and business woman. For just one day, (St Jordis Day when I am in Barcelona and on Valentine's Day now that I live in Kildare), ok maybe two days, I want to be a princess and swept off my feet and romanced. To my darling husband, if you're reading this, indulge me and sweep me off my feet on February 14th. I don't expect you to slay a Dragon for me, but a single rose a good book, and your company would be perfect. xxx
One of the joys of being a photographer is photographing amazing couples, isn't it amazing how love shines through?