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Sant Jordi is one of the most deep-rooted traditions in Catalonia, and Barça, true to its origins, has always joined the commemorations of the legend of the dragon, the rose and the book and celebrated the occasion with its fans. This year, due to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus, the club has decided to celebrate this important date in a special way by making it the day of the ‘heroes’ and ‘heroines’, paying homage to everyone who is working on the frontline against the pandemic, just like Sant Jordi (St. George) did with the dragon.
So, the Club has prepared different activities for the day, including the ‘Heroes of Sant Jordi’ video featuring messages of thanks from different video-calls that have been made by Barça players past and present to wish fans a good ‘Diada’ and express their gratitude to the anonymous people who are making such amazing efforts to help fight the coronavirus. In this new situation, it is now the players, who have traditionally been viewed as ‘heroes’ by the fans, who are showing their appreciation to these anonymous ‘new heroes’, including healthcare professionals, people who are still working in essential sectors and everyone who has stayed at home to help curb the spread of the pandemic.
The video includes some of the people who have helped to forge the Barça legend, like Carles Puyol, Patrick Kluivert, Albert Ferrer, Hristo Stoichkov, Sergi Barjuan, Javier Saviola, Migueli and Juan Carlos Navarro, and current first team midfielder Ivan Rakitic, women’s team defender Marta Torrejón, Barça B player Roqui Puig, and Pierre Oriola, Nil Roca, Dídac Plana and Raúl Entrerríos of the basketball, roller hockey, futsal and handball teams, respectively.
Barça will also be promoting recognition of these heroes and heroines on social networks, where it shall also be providing fans with a series of stickers with the messages ‘You are my heroes’, ‘Sou els meus herois’ and ‘Sois mis héroes’, together with the image of Sant Jordi, and encouraging them to nominate the people that most represent their everyday heroes
The legend of Sant Jordi through the eyes of younger members
Another action being run on the occasion of this very special day involves children, who are also suffering from being confined to their homes. Barça chose to celebrate the Sant Jordi national holiday with its members in a special way, inviting those aged until 15 years old to make a drawing based on the traditional legend of the dragon, the rose and the book, and share it with the Club. Entries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org until Tuesday 28 April and a selection of the best drawings will be published on the FC Barcelona website during the same week.
Sant Jordi arrives in New York
FC Barcelona has also supported the NYC Sant Jordi 24 Hours event organised by The Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the US, which is offering a virtual literary festival from April 25. It was initially going to be held in different parts of New York City, and has now been reinvented in a virtual format due to the coronavirus, including online readings, chats and different artistic events centred around the literary world, as well as space for different concerts and musical performances.
The event will be featuring a number of leading writers and translators, including a Catalan contingent featuring a conversation about football between Jordi Puntí and Simon Critchley, Jordi Nopca commenting on the new English translation of his book Puja a casa with the translator herself, Mara Lethem; a talk with the multi-award winning essayist Marta Marín-Dòmine and Adrian Nathan West reading his latest translation of Sergi Pàmies
A Sant Jordi’s Day for solidarity
Finally, the Barça Foundation, as part of its support for organisations and programmes that are helping with the current Covid-19 series will be working with different solidarity campaigns. These include Rosa virtual pels més vulnerables organised by Hospital Sant Joan de Déu which is sending virtual roses to raise funds to help the most in need at its centre, and the #Aquest Sant Jordi el rebrotem amb les persones grans awareness campaign, in which the Amics de la Gent Gran (Friends of the Elderly) association is getting people to send roses to prevent certain people from being forgotten.
The Foundation is also supporting the Inundem les presons de material per Sant Jordi being run by Catalonia’s penitentiary centre to get people to send comics and magazines to improve the situation for inmates, especially during this lockdown period, as well as the action promoted by the Government of Catalonia with its Foment de la lectura per Sant Jordi campaign to encourage people to read.
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