Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Book and Lover's Day

Do you know what today is? It is Book and Lover's Day. Every year on April 23rd, Barcelona erupts in a celebration of chivalry and romance. It all began in the Middle Ages with an annual Festival of Roses to honor St. George, Patron Saint of Catalonia, who as a brave Roman soldier allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful young princess. Accordingly, a rosebush sprouted from the blood of the dragon and the soldier plucked its most perfect blossoms to give to the princess as a remembrance. In 1923, the Rose Festival merged with International Book Day, established to celebrate the lives of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, both of whom died on April 23rd in 1616. Now, bookstalls and flower stands sprout up along the Rambla, a two-mile stretch connecting the city with the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of Barcelonans crowd the streets to enjoy a festive atmosphere of readings, music, literature, and dance.

Here in Denver, the Tattered Cover Book Store is celebrating complimentary roses and commemorative bookmarks with the purchase of a book. They will also be holding Shakespeare performances in the afternoon at their Historic LoDo and Colfax locations. Also in Greeley, An Open Book will also be celebrating the day with a 20% discount off one book and complimentary flowers.

Happy Book and Lover's Day!

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