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Holy Week

In 2004, Semana Santa runs from April 4-11. In Catalunya, on Palm Sunday Padrinos give decorated and/or woven collections of ornate Palm leaves to their Godchildren, only to be followed by the giving of Monas elaborate chocolate creations involvng Easter Eggs or the latest fad from the Simpsons to Harry Potter. The processions of Holy Week can be seen in the Gothic Quarter of the city, hundreds of people carrying Jesus and His Mother to the Cathedral, amid the sound of drums and trumpets, but the most impressive and crowded processions occur in the south of Spain.

Sant Jordi

By far the most beautiful holiday in Barcelona, the anniversary of Sant Jordi (Saint George), the parton saint of Catalonya falls on April 23. It is a day which has also been designated the Day Of The Book, coincidentally this is the same day in which Miguel de Cervantes -- the greatest Spanish writer -- and Shakespeare died on the same day in 1616.

Traditionally men give their lady a rose, while women present their men with a book. Book stalls and rose stands spring up throughout the city. Lovers of all ages stroll around town hand in hand, with a book or rose in the other. The 23rd is also popular for visiting the Generalitat, to enjoy its display of red roses.

St Jordi

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