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St. George

The Story of St. George
April 15, 2000

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Rudy: "Spring is the season of young lovers! And no where is that more the case than Barcelona, Spain. That's where in about a week, on April 23rd, they celebrate Saint George's Day: the most amorous day of the year. Joining us with details is Michelle Kholos for this week's Culture Watch."

Michelle: "Hi Rudy."

Rudy: "Isn't Saint George the local saint who fought a wicked dragon that was holding a princess captive?"

Michelle: "Yep. The story goes that St. George killed the dragon, and on the spot where the dragon's blood spilled a rose grew as a symbol of love and friendship."

Rudy: "True story?"

Michelle: "Well, not really. It was the invention of some creative knights from the Catalan region who traveled towards the Orient. But as these things go, the story took on its own life and has been a reason to celebrate ever since."

Rudy: "So, how do they celebrate?"

Michelle: "This is an interesting one. According to tradition, women are presented with a rose by their admirers, just like in the original story, and in return they present their menfolk with a book."

Rudy: "So it's a story of sentimentality and literacy?"

Michelle: "And don't forget commerce. In the mid-1800's, literary competitions were revived around St. George's day. New authors appeared on the scene and there was an increase in the number of newspapers published. Now, today, it's a popular date to launch new novels onto the market. The date is also linked to the death anniversaries of Shakespeare and Cervantes. Actually, in many places St. George's Day has been renamed Book Day in honor of the two. And that's this week's Culture Watch."


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