St Jordi Day Celebration

St Jordi's day is Spain's Valentines day...sort of wrapped up with a big dose of Catalan pride as well. St. Jordi is the patrion saint of Catalunya. Legend has it that there was a very very bad dragon that destroyed all the farms and houses of the village. An agreement was made between the king and this dragon: every year the king will give the dragon a maiden so he will leave them in peace. This girl was chosen by lot. One year the princess was the chosen and she was taken to the dragon's cave. But Sant Jordi arrived, killed the dragon and the dragon’s blood drops turned into roses. Sant Jordi took one rose and offered it to the princess. This is the reason for the tradition of giving roses to one's Love on St. Jordi's day. Some centuries later, a very smart bookseller decided that in honor of the fact that Shakespear and Miguel de Cervantes (a spanish author) died on this day, and it's world reading day...that men should receive books. So everywhere in Barcelona and I'm sure all of Catalunya, the streets are lined with vendors selling roses and books. It's really quite romantic.
The school hosts a small celebration. The kids all learn folk dances and put on a show. There are awards given out for art and poetry from their Catalan studies classes. The PTA grilled up Butafaya (sausage) with Pan amb tomaquet and had their own little book store and rose table.

The courtyard waiting to begin. Notice the mural draped in the back of St Jordi slaying the dragon...and the Catalan flag in front of the table. close up of the mural done by 11th graders.

I'm not sure if you can pick her out. But, Jess is in the corner with her headband on. It was one hot day...reached about 86 degrees.
A better pic of Jess, who had taken off her shirt at this point....it was put back on promptly.

The pre-k classes...poor guys were under those costumes right in the sun. They were dressed as princes and knights.

and one dragon....

They kindergarten class did the presentation of the roses and books...or
El llibre i la rosa

Here one princess would great one or two princes and exchange books and roses.

The first graders were dressed in traditional white with red sashes...and for some reason no one can figure out..white wigs. They were cute and did the Sardana, a traditional folk dance, to an Abba song. I have it video'd but for some reason it's not uploading.

The 3rd grade in similar costumes with red and yellow wigs for the colors of the Catalan flag.

The 2nd graders were a big hit and did a dance to Mamma Mia

part of the 2nd grade presentation was lighting these smokers...I don't know what they are called they looked like firecrackers but gave off smoke that changed colors.

Jess's grade came out and did St. Jordi Ludic....no idea what that might mean except they did some traditional catalan games....
Jess was doing something with a group of girls that resembled chinese jump rope.
Then they did another folk dance...toc de festa, which I also filmed but also won't upload.

Here is the 6th grade's folk dance, Ball de festeig. Joe was home sick this day. Alexa had been home all week with a bad stomach bug and he had convinced me that he was coming down with it...turns out he had nowannafolkdancitis.

The older kids doing a dance, Farandola Provencal

And another group of high schoolers doing a dance with sticks, Ball de Bastons.

All in all it was a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate Catalan culture. I had to go back to school to pick up Andrea after her drama meeting. On the way home at the toll booth the attendant gave me two roses. One for Andrea and one for me. How can you not love a country that gives out roses at their toll booths?

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