Sant Jordi, the quintessential Catalan culture celebration of books and roses, was also suspended due to Covid-19 on April 23 – although it was somehow held in lockdown –, and the sectors involved decided to postpone it to July 23. Yet, it will not be the same as it is every year, because organizers will regulate it so that safety distances are maintained.

Publishers, booksellers and florists intend to allow between 200 and 300 stalls in Barcelona, approximately a fourth of the usual 1,000. They might be more separated from each other than normally. In order that the sector can do business, stalls will be open until midnight – usually, at around 9 pm the activity progressively ends during a normal Sant Jordi.

During Sant Jordi, people flock to the streets, and the most crowded places are usually the stalls where the most popular authors are signing books – one of the unique aspects of the celebration. To maintain the tradition but adapt it to the new times, the organizers of Sant Jordi have proposed that writers sign books and meet their readers by appointment.

Closing proposals

In Barcelona, stalls are expected to be in the usual places: Rambla, Passeig de Gràcia, Passeig de Sant Joan and several places in the Eixample and Ciutat Vella districts.

Publishers, booksellers and florists are now finalizing their proposals and discussing them with the administration, and they will take them to the Procicat civil protection committee, which will have to give a final go-ahead to it.

The sectors involved in Sant Jordi celebrations believe that the model they are organizing for Barcelona becomes a pattern for the rest of Catalan municipalities, which they will be able to adapt to their realities.

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