I think there's a good chance that I'm one of the only people in the U.S. celebrating "El Dia del libro" aka Sant Jordi. It's St. George's Day and in the Catalan region of Spain; this holiday honoring St. George the dragon-slayer has merged with various other traditions and in its modern manifestation, it's a day when the streets are filled with booths selling books and roses and people browsing and buying.
I find the combination of my favorite things- books, flowers, Spain- too delicious to resist and this year good ol' Austin caught on. I came home to find a rose and a book just waiting for me. I sent some of my friends St. Jordi e-cards this morning and told my students all about the holiday. I even have a children's book about it and I read it in all my classes. They seemed to get into it and one student even said "wow, it was cool being able to read in another language." That was one of those comments that makes my day.
Tonight I'm going to order a new book by one of my favorite Spanish authors, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, because it just came out today (St. Jordi Day is a big new-book release day) though I don't know how long it will take to get it over here. It is a sequel to a book I read on our honeymoon, The Shadow of the Wind, one of the first books I had read just for pleasure in Spanish after years of required reading in my graduate program. I hope the sequel is equally as enjoyable.
To top off my wonderful day, I came home to find the newest edition of Cooking Light magazine in the mail and was pleasantly surprised to find a whole spread on Catalan cooking! My sister-in-law got me a Catalan cookbook for Christmas and I really like it so it was cool to discover that magazine editors are branching out. I had better make a "Catalonia" search term on TiVo... maybe the cooking shows will come through for me too.
Even the weather today feels Spain-like but lest I get carried away, highs are predicted to be in the 40's this weekend.