Sant Jordi Day in Barcelona

This year I was thrilled to be invited by my Spanish publisher Libros de Seda to take part in the Sant Jordi (or St George’s) day celebrations in Barcelona, which are held every year on 23rd April.  It is a day when men are supposed to buy women roses and the women reciprocate by buying them books – a perfect combination!

Rosa at the Libros de Seda stand

I had never been to Barcelona before, but right from the start, I loved it!  Everywhere you went, there were vendors selling beautiful red roses, most of them with a stem of wheat as added decoration.  The vendor’s tables, and indeed a lot of balconies throughout the city, were decorated with the Catalan flag in vivid red and yellow stripes.  This made for a very colourful display and added to the festive atmosphere.  Publishers and bookshops also had stalls in the streets, selling books and arranging book signings by authors, and I was lucky enough to take part in three of these.

First I spent some time with the lovely team from Libros de Seda – Rosa, Maria Jose and Alex – meeting some readers and trying to practise my very rusty Spanish.  (Not that it was really needed, as almost every person I met spoke extremely good English!)  I also had the great pleasure of

Laura and I

meeting Laura from the book blog Cientos de Miles de Historias who had travelled all the way from Segovia especially for this day, something we all appreciated very much!

After a while, we headed off for a book signing at the Plaza Monumental – an enormous shopping centre which has been built inside Barcelona’s former bullfighting arena.  As someone who loves ancient buildings, I was very pleased to see that they had retained the original facade of the building completely and the result was amazing.  I was given a very warm welcome by the FNAC Arenas bookshop team.

At the Libreria Maite stand

Later it was time to go to another book shop, Libreria Maite in the Gracia area of Barcelona, where I joined four other authors for another signing.  Here I was again given a warm welcome and I got to meet the bookshop owner and also three lovely ladies from the book group ‘Be Romantic Addict – B’Radic’ which was great!

The final part of the afternoon was spent back at the Libros de Seda stand, something I enjoyed very much.  Friends and family of the team joined us from time to time (including the lovely Gordo – a dog who despite his name was not fat but gorgeous), and I had fun chatting to everyone.  After such a brilliant day, it was sad to say goodbye, but I’m hoping to go again next year!

Rosa, me and Maria Jose

At the Libros de Seda stall

At the Libreria Maite stand

With Laura

Vientos Alisios (Trade Winds)

A rose for me!


  1. Sounds very exciting and the photos are wonderful. What an awesome experience for you Christina. Hope the food was good too 🙂

    Comment by Tina Brown — April 26, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

  2. That looks like it was such fun. I hope you got a chance to sample the local food – I love Spanish food.

    Comment by Janet Gover — April 26, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

  3. Thanks Tina and Janet! Yes, Spanish food is always awesome – love it 🙂

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — April 26, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

  4. It sounds totally brilliant! So pleased for you.

    Comment by Gill Stewart — April 26, 2014 @ 6:29 pm

  5. What a fascinating day and the combination of red roses and books sounds perfect!

    Comment by Angela Britnell — April 27, 2014 @ 1:01 am

  6. Thank you Gill and Angela – yes, it was a lovely day!

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — April 27, 2014 @ 1:20 am

  7. Sounds as if you had a fabulous time, Pia! Jealous! 🙂

    I love the idea of a street book fair.

    Comment by Suemoorcrodt — April 27, 2014 @ 7:34 am

  8. It looks fantastic. So colourful – and sunny too! With the added bonus of red roses. (And hopefully Paella!)
    Thank you for sharing your day. xxx

    Comment by Berni Stevens — April 27, 2014 @ 1:03 pm

  9. Sunshine! Roses! Not-fat dogs! It looks absolutely gorgeous, what a wonderful event.

    Comment by Jane Lovering — April 27, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

  10. Sounds like you had a fabulous time, and it must have been lovely meeting the Spanish publishers. Love the idea of a shopping mall inside an old bullfighting arena – I wonder if there’s any fighting going on between the customers during the January sale!

    Comment by Henriette Gyland — April 27, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

  11. Thanks everyone! I agree it’s a lovely idea to have a street fair selling and signing books, but I guess the weather in Spain is more suited to that than here in the UK 🙂

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — April 27, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

  12. Wow – that sounds like such a great experience – and it was fascinating to read about it. I love the photos too – wonderful colours, atmosphere, and… sunshine!!!

    Comment by Clare Wartnaby — April 27, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

  13. It sounds – and looks – amazing. I’d love to go to Barcelona one day.

    Comment by Liv — April 27, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

  14. What a terrific few days in such an environment. It must have been balm to your soul. I love the pictures and the commentary.

    Well done!

    Comment by Beverley Eikli — April 28, 2014 @ 1:28 am

  15. Thank you, Clare, Liv and Beverley! We should all go to Sant Jordi day together 🙂

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — May 2, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

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