Over six million roses are expected to be sold for this year’s Sant Jordi—a day celebrating the patron saint of Catalunya. Rose-giving has been a powerful symbol of love and chivalry since the Middle Ages, and during this festival, a man hands his sweetheart a beautiful rose, while she gives him a book in return.
Also known as Catalunya’s Valentine’s Day, 30 percent of the region’s annual rose sales go towards this festival. Celebrated on April 23rd, Sant Jordi falls on a Saturday this year, so rose sales are expected to be higher than ever. 90 percent of the roses sold are expected to be red, while the most popular variety is normally ‘Freedom’, which is imported from Ecuador and Colombia. New to this year, there will be a variety called ‘Explorer’, a dark and thornless red rose.