Sant Jordi mata el drac

23 Avril, Diada de Sant Jordi. Journée UNESCO du livre.

Histoire d’une tradition millénaire

Depuis le milieu du XV siècle, chaque année, le 23 avril, est célébrée en Catalogne “la Diada de Sant Jordi” (Saint Georges). Sant Jordi, est le saint patron de la Catalogne depuis l’année 1094. Il représente, pour les Catalans, le héros protecteur qui a vaincu le dragon et a sauvé la princesse, symbole de la victoire sur le mal.

Tout au long des années, cette journée s’est consolidée comme une fête traditionnelle et émouvante, pendant laquelle les amoureux s’échangent une rose et un livre.

Légende :
Un jour, Georges arriva dans une ville de la Libye nommée Silène (Silcha). Or, dans un étang voisin de la ville vivait un dragon redoutable qui, maintes fois, avait mis en déroute les armées envoyées contre lui. Parfois, il s’approchait des murs de la ville et empoisonnait de son souffle tous ceux qui se trouvaient à sa portée.

Afin d’apaiser la fureur du monstre et l’empêcher d’anéantir la ville entière, les habitants convinrent de lui offrir chaque jour deux brebis. Bientôt, les brebis vinrent à manquer et les habitants durent se contraindre à les remplacer par des jeunes gens tirés au sort. Aucune famille ne fut exemptée du tirage et le jour de l’arrivée de saint Georges, le sort désigna pour victime, la fille unique du roi.

Georges arrive ce jour où, la jeune princesse attachée à un rocher près de l’étang, va être victime du dragon. Monté sur son destrier, il brandit bien haut son étendard et se jette bravement sur le monstre avec une fougue telle qu’il le renverse au sol. Il dit alors à la princesse: « Mon enfant, ne crains plus et place ta ceinture autour du col de ce monstre! » La princesse fit ainsi et le dragon, se redressant, se mit à la suivre comme un petit chien qu’on mènerait en laisse. La bête fut ensuite conduite par la princesse jusqu’à la ville où elle fut décapitée.

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