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Sant Jordi, Dragon Slayer

Everybody knows the legend of Sant Jordi (St. George) slaying the dragon to rescue the princess.

In Spain, April 23rd (today, the day of patron saint, Sant Jordi) is celebrated as the Day of the Book. The custom originated in Catalunya. Per Sant Jordi, roses i llibres. Tradition has it that one gives a rose as a token of one’s love, plus a book as a token of one’s sophistication, and presents both to a beloved person.

Street parades everywhere with books and flowers make this day a happy day for everyone. In Palma de Mallorca, for instance, book readings and some such activities are planned for Carrer Oms, Rambla Ducs de Palma, Plaça Espanya, Plaça Cort and other places galore. Most bookshops even offer their wares at a special discount rate, too.

Ever since 1995, UNESCO has adopted April 23rd as the World Book and Copyright Day. This date happens to also be the day when supposedly William Shakespeare and also Miguel de Cervantes died, both in the same year (1616).

The photo shows a detail of the baroque façade of the Basilica de Sant Francesc in Palma de Mallorca, depicting Sant Jordi and the dragon.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: April 15th, 2008. The time was 12:45:36.

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