St Jordi’s Day – 23 April

Friday 23rd April is St George’s Day and the Central Library is embracing the Catalan tradition of celebrating the day with books and roses and a special display in the foyer. Our desks will be decked with the last of the season’s roses and we encourage you (as if you need encouraging!) to visit, borrow and read.

In Catalonia (Spain), the day is known as La Diada de Sant Jordi and it is traditional to give a rose and a book to a loved one. This tradition inspired UNESCO to declare this the International Day of the Book, since April 23, 1616 was also the date of death of both the English playwright William Shakespeare (according to the Julian calendar) and the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes (according to the Gregorian calendar).

In Catalan cities like Barcelona books are sold in the streets on long stalls prepared specially for the grand occasion. Many people take advantage of this day, even though they may not normally be regular readers, to buy and enjoy a book. It is one way of encouraging people to read.

Saint George puts himself about a bit as patron saint of Aragon, Catalonia, England, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal and Russia.  He is also the patron saint of boy scouts, cavalry, chivalry, farmers and soldiers. Personally I like the books and roses.

So why not buy a book and a rose for someone this Friday (Or bring your favourite librarians a rose!)

Anzac Day for children

Anzac Day is celebrated on 25 April every year in New Zealand and Australia to remember all the members of the armed forces who served in the two World Wars and other major conflicts, such as the Vietnam and Korean Wars.  Children can learn some interesting facts about Anzac Day and some of the wars that our troops fought in by:

There are also a number of dawn parades and memorials around Christchurch and Canterbury that you could go along to to remember those that died fighting for their country.

On the rocks- Image of the week

Construction of the road at Morgan’s Valley, Heathcote, Christchurch. June 1910.

Construction of the road at Morgan's Valley, Heathcote, Christchurch

Do you have photos of Christchurch? We love donations. Contact us

Also contact us if you have any further information on any of the images. Want to see more? You can browse our collection here.