World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books which sees tens of thousands of passionate volunteers gift books in their communities to share their love of reading.Why choose April 23 for the festivities? Here's the website's answer:
April 23 is a symbolic date for world literature. It is both the birth and death day of Shakespeare, as well as the death day of Cervantes, the great Spanish novelist. It is in their honour that UNESCO appointed it the international day of the book and that we choose it to celebrate World Book Night. April 23rd also marks the city of Barcelona's celebration of St George's Day. St George is the patron saint of Catalonia as well as England and traditionally, to celebrate this day, Spanish gentlemen gave their ladies roses and the ladies returned the favour with a book. Considering the rich literary history of this day, it seemed more than fitting that April 23rd should be chosen as the day of celebrating reading and the giving of books!
We were asking yesterday after Mass what people do to celebrate St. George's Day (since he is the patron of England)? One mum and daughter answered that their Guides troupe was going to march around town with flags, though they were not too enthusiastic since the forecast was (you guessed it) rain. The Spanish definitely have the better tradition. If only I could sneak out to a flower shop. Maybe if the kids wake up from their nap early. I would just wait to post the blog, but maybe readers in America will have a better chance than I do to celebrate.