23 April 2010
Love, roses and books
I’ve never quite been able to put a finger on why I have a slight aversion to St. Valentine’s Day. I’ve tried to like it, really. Maybe it’s the forced aspect and thinking it’s all about marketing like many of our festivals. I do like chocolate…but then I can eat chocolate any day.
Having lived in England for many years, to me St. George's day has sort of a vague definition as a holiday. While Wales, Ireland (Northern and Southern), and Scotland all have their proudly celebrated Saint’s days, people in England were never really big on St. George’s day. You might see a few places flying the St. Georges cross, or the odd person or two wearing a ribbon or some other vague reference, but it’s pretty much business as usual. This could be owing to the debate as to whether St. George was actually born in England, as some believe his place of birth to have been Turkey. I suppose that one needs some investigating.
Little did I know, however (with my enormous ignorance of all things saint-y), that St. George is someone who is celebrated in many other European countries with festivals falling on either the date of his birth or that of his death. Countries included are Spain, and here is the good part, where the saint is associated with roses, love and, books. A festival about love and books? Now that I can get into.Throw in the fact that both Cervantes and Shakespeare died on the 23rd of April and you have a nice little group of literary and romantic heroes to honour in celebration. Just don’t forget to get the roses after the arduous task of choosing just the right book for your love.