Catalonia celebrates Sant Jordi around the world with 361 events in 190 cities

The Government of Catalonia and DIPLOCAT have presented an agenda full of international events

The Government of Catalonia's Minister for Foreign Action and the European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, the Government of Catalonia's Minister of Culture, Natàlia Garriga i Ibáñez, and the Secretary General of DIPLOCAT, Laura Foraster i Lloret, presented the activities and figures for this year's international celebration of Sant Jordi, or Saint George's Day, with a press conference held this afternoon at the headquarters of the Ramon Llull Institute in Barcelona.

"The Day of Books and Roses is our great ambassador to the world," said Minister Natàlia Garriga, who stressed that "our authors are increasingly translated and celebrated around the world," naming Eva Baltasar as an example, whose novel Boulder made her the first author in Catalan to be a finalist for the Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world.

Laura Foraster assured that "many countries would pay to have a holiday like this, so transversal and inclusive," and stressed that it is "one of the best ways to introduce Catalonia to the world and the values it represents." Ms Foraster has explained the two great events DIPLOCAT is hosting for Sant Jordi: firstly, an international visitors program aimed at journalists in the cultural filed, beginning today; and secondly, the website of the BooksAndRoses project, which has collected information on all Sant Jordi events since 2015. This year there are a total of 361 events in 190 cities across 36 countries. As for foreign journalists, this year the delegation includes 8 professionals from Germany, Colombia, Croatia, Great Britain, Italy, Morocco and Portugal.

For her part, Meritxell Serret declared the Day of Sant Jordi to be a holiday of reference around the world. "It's a holiday for the people, a street party that people can make their own. It's diverse, expansive, alive and dynamic," said Ms Serret. Through these values, she explained, "Catalonia can express its wealth and openness when it celebrates Sant Jordi, which helps us project our image into other countries." "Catalan external action is indispensable, as are our language and culture, and we will make it known all over the world," said Ms Serret, who wanted to make a special mention of the thousands of Catalans who reside abroad and who are also celebrating this internatioanl holiday this Sunday.

Regarding the events promoted by the delegations of the Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya abroad, there are more than a hundred events being held in 60 cities in 20 countries around the world. This doesn't include the activities and event being hosted by Catalan centres and communities abroad, such as the Ramon Llull Institute, the Catalan Tourism Agency, ACCIÓ, and individual entities such as the Farragut Fund of the United States or the Barcelona-Colonia Friendship Association. The events are mainly literary and cultural, and include dramaturgical readings, concerts or exhibitions, but also include translation and illustration workshops, children's activities, gastronomic tastings, conferences or castell performances, always with the aim of spreading the Catalan language and culture across the world on the Day of Book and Roses.