April 23rd, the Day of Saint George, was declared as International Day of the Book by UNESCO in 1995. On this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died.
The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia, where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, people exchange gifts between them. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion—"a rose for love and a book forever."
According to the legend, St. George rescued a princess by defeating a fearsome fire-breathing dragon. After slaying the creature, legend says that a drop of its blood sprouted into a red rose which the saint gave to the princess he had saved.
St. George is the patron saint of England. For more information, visit: projectbritain.com and Learn Englisn free online