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Or is it Sant Jordi… Last weekend I was down in Perpignan, way down in the south-west of France near the Spanish border, for the release of my better half’s newest book, and while I was there I experienced Sant Jordi Day for the first time.

 

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In other parts of the global its called World Book Day, or St George’s Day, and little did I know that such a fête began as a Catalan tradition where on the day in question women were given a rose and men a book. (Luckily for me, these days women are given book too!) Libraries and book stores host events, like this one where little children were read to and then offered a book.

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The festival takes place in France in most historical Catalan cities – the very south-western part of France. Streets are lined with book stands and roses are everywhere. I was offered two roses by different people I had just met.

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Roses and books, what could be better!

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And while we were there we had the chance to spend some time before the literary evening at the Hotel Pams, a gorgeous hôtel particulier in the quartier Saint Jacques of Perpignan. Open to the public at certain times, the magnificent mansion belonged to the family that created Job tobacco rolling paper back in the 1800s. If you ever find yourself in old town Perpignan, this is not to be missed!

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