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Roses for World Book Day

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Story by

Anna Zajdel

Translation by:

Default profile picture Alfredo Leal

Today is the day in which women receive flowers. But men aren’t left empty handed, their efforts are thanked for with a book. They expect to sell 1.5 million books in Cataluña. It is there where today, April 23, the day of Sant Jordi is celebrated and in the rest of the world since 1995, the World Book and Copyright Day.

Besides the hundreds of tourists, actors and streetwalkers that cross it on a daily basis creating an extraordinary environment in Barcelona, the Rambla Promenade will guest today thousands of books and roses. In other parts of the world there will also be different conferences, workshops, lectures and other events. The reason for this festivity dates back to the year 1930 when Book Day was established in Barcelona. The date they chose was April 23, which coincidentally was the day of Sant Jordi, the day in which roses were gifted to Catalonian women. These, with time, began to reward their couple with a book and the Exchange became something traditional in Catalonia.

Such a noble tradition couldn’t go unnoticed by Unesco, so towards the end of the twentieth century, declared April 23 as World Book Day. Another reason for this decision has to do with some very important dates for world literature. April 23 is the date, according to the Gregorian calendar, of the death of the author of the book that tells the adventures of the famous Hidalgo who fought with windmills, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Also on that date, according to the Julian calendar, one of the greatest playwriters of all times, William Shakespeare ended his life.

 It appears that these arguments were enough so that the idea could spread around the world and become an opportunity to celebrate literature.

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Translated from Rosas para el Día Internacional del Libro