I happened to post on Saint Valentine’s Day and Saint George’s Day by chance. And it seems we have another episode of the Anglo-Catalan culture.
Catalan people have our version of Saint George’s legend by Jacobus de Voragine. We say that the dragon’s blood turned into a beautiful rose Saint George gave the princess. On 23rd April, we give roses and books to our couple or couples (that’s a self-management issue, not a linguistic one). In 1995, UNESCO got inspired by this and decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on the same date.
The rose has been in our tradition since the 15th century. The book was added to it last century because of a dubious reason. Both Cervantes and Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616. In fact, Cervantes died on the 22nd and was buried on the 23rd and Shakespeare did die on the 23rd, but according to the Julian calendar — 3rd May according to the Gregorian calendar. Anyway, books are worth the lie.
Apart from these literary reasons, Saint George is the patron saint of England and Catalonia. Moreover, this year’s 23rd April is the only day in the year a god is dead. Being atheists, should my piece of England and I use the planets alignment and get married today? We’ll think about it, the day isn’t over yet.