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Posted on April 17, 2017

Cal U students, dressed for St. George's day, pose for a portrait in Manderino Library.

St. George’s Day celebration
11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 27
Manderino Library 

Medieval-themed art exhibition
5-8 p.m. April 27
Vulcan Gallery

Enjoy free food, learn about medieval armor and get a glimpse of Spanish and Arabic culture when Cal U celebrates St. George’s Day, or Diada de Sant Jordi.

St. George’s Day is an important national feast day in Spain, and UNESCO has declared this holiday the International Day of the Book.

The Art and Languages Department and Cal U’s Manderino Library mark the holiday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 27 in the library.

The free event is open to Cal U students, faculty and staff, area high school groups and members of the public.

Speaker discusses armor

Keynote speaker Parker Brown, who makes armor and is an apprentice silversmith at Colonial Williamsburg, in Virginia, will discuss his work from 1-2 p.m.

Brown, the owner of Crescent Moon Armoury, creates armor for a select clientele, produces historical reproductions and served as a consultant for the NOVA documentary “Secrets of the Viking Sword.” He currently is writing a book, A Practical Guide to European medieval and Renaissance Armoursmithing.

Gallery exhibition

An exhibition of medieval-themed prints, paintings, drawings,jewelry and ceramics will be held from 5-8 p.m. April 27 in conjunction with the St. George's Day celebration

Ethnic foods, baked goods and healthy treats will be served in Vulcan Gallery.

Prizes for the best artworks will be awarded at 7 p.m. Visiting high school students are invited to join the Cal U community at this free event..

Holiday origins

According to Spanish lore, the medieval knight George slew a dragon that was terrorizing a Spanish village, and he rescued a princess who was about to be sacrificed to the beast. Blood that flowed from the dragon’s body was transformed into a rose, which the knight presented to the princess.

Since medieval times, men traditionally have recalled the knight’s brave and gracious deed by presenting women with a rose.

In modern times, sweethearts, loved ones and colleagues also exchange books, since the holiday falls close to the dates of death for authors Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare.

Cal U celebrates St. George’s Day

Cal U’s St. George’s Day event includes free Hispanic and Arabic foods, plus a 10-foot dragon and other artworks created by Cal U and high school art students.

Students from Spanish classes will be wearing medieval-style costumes, presenting medieval Spanish poetry and leading fun activities in Spanish.

Other activities include:

  • Tours of Cal U art exhibits.
  • Visiting artist lectures.
  • Arabic mejlis cushion display.
  • Henna painting.
  • Arabic tea and coffee.
  • Poster displays about Arabic language and culture.
  • Arabic writing and music.

In addition, the Fencing Club will present a demonstration and offer free lessons in medieval dance.

Faculty authors and local writers will be on hand to sell their books, and a display will focus on summer reading choices.

Fiber artists will demonstrate weaving and other skills.

Join us

Admission to the St. George’s Day celebration is free.

To RSVP or ask questions, email Cal U’s Art and Languages Department at artandLanguages@calu.edu or call 724-938-4182 or 724-938-4246.