Welcome to our Virtual Festival – Catalonia on Stage Program – Click Here!

(Photo: Joan Garriga )

In partnership with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage and the Government of Catalonia Delegation to the United States, we invite you to this virtual celebration of the Catalan origins of the “Day of the Book”. We thank all the participants for their personal greetings and hope we will one day soon all come together again in person.

Welcome from the Catalan Delegation

With an explanation of the origins of the “Day of the Book”

Welcome from Michael Atwood Mason, director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage promotes greater understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage across the United States and around the world through research, education, and community engagement. In 2018, at their Folklife Festival on the National Mall, the Center highlighted Catalonian culture and once again were to have joined us in celebration of the Catalan tradition of the Day of the Book.

Special guest author – Martí Gironell

Martí Gironell i Gamero (Besalú, 1971) is a journalist and writer. His debut, The Bridge of the Jews, is the biggest bestselling historical novel ever written by a Catalan author and has sold over 100.000 copies. He’s written several novels set in different periods of Catalan history featuring universal protagonists. He currently works at the Catalan national television TV3 and writes for the newspaper El Punt Avui. He is considered a master of the historical commercial genre and his novels have brought renewed interest and fame to forgotten yet fascinating figures of Southern Europe’s history.

Featured Work: Stars in His Eyes

Based on the life of Jean Leon, famous restaurateur to Hollywood stars, presidents, and famous people, Stars in His Eyes is a story of dreams and success. Gironell will speak on reaching for your dreams through hard work, believing in yourself, and the importance of friendships. Touching on the Golden Age of Hollywood, the film industry of the past mid-century, and the world of fine wines and vineyards, Gironell weaves these themes through a story that is just as relevant today. Buy a copy on Amazon: HERE

Special musical guest – Joan Garriga & the Galàctic Mariatxis

Joan Garriga & the Galàctic Mariatxis are four musicians who connect the festive music of the Romani community in Catalonia with other popular music genres, creating a dialogue between different groups. Besides rumba catalana, which developed in Barcelona’s Romani community, they include other genres such as reggae, ballenato, cumbia, flamenco, and balería. The musical diversity and energy in their shows strives to connect the audience in emotion. They have recently released their first EP.

Watch the band’s last performance in Washington DC during the celebration of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2018 on the National Mall:

For more information and to purchase their music:



Special Guest cookbook program – Eva Olivares: What’s cooking in Catalonia?

As her alter-ego Evacuinera, Eva Olivares is passionate about cooking and discovering new recipes. Since 2012 she has written a blog dedicated to easy recipes that anyone can make. On her youtube channel, Evacuinera, she demonstrates her recipes, gives tips, and reviews products, all with her natural humor. On her youtube show she has cooked with some of the greatest chefs in Barcelona, including Fran Agudo, from the restaurant Tickets, and Joan Roca of the Celler de Can Roca, named the second best restaurant in the world.

Learn to make Paella from her YouTube channel (in Spanish):

YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/evacuinera

Website: www.evacuinera.com/

Special guest author – Roser Caminals

Roser Caminals-Heath (b. 1956), a Barcelona native, is a literary translator and prize-winning novelist. Caminals-Heath earned her master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Barcelona. She won an award from the Spanish embassy for her English translation of Emilia Pardo Bazan’s The House of Ulloa, and her own work has been published in three languages. In 1996, her novel Les Herbes Secretes (The Secret Herbs) won first prize in the Jocs Florals de la Diàspora contest, for expatriate authors writing in Catalan. She has also published a nonfiction book, La Seducció Americana (The American Seduction), which draws on her experiences in the United States, where she has lived since 1981. The Street of the Three Beds is the first in a trilogy that depicts Barcelona at the turn of the twentieth century. Caminals-Heath is a professor of Spanish at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and is married to author William Heath.

The American Seduction is a hybrid of travel diary, unconventional memoir, and cultural essay that sketches experiences and anecdotes from the author’s thirty-eight years in the United States. Addressed to the general public, it offers a fresh vision of America through a new, highly personal lens, zeroing in on details of American everyday life that Americans take for granted.”

Purchase Roser Caminal’s books on Amazon

Watch her YouTube video “On writing and translating The American Seduction

Special Guest children’s book illustrator – Xavier Salomo

Xavier Salomo earned a diploma in Drawing and Illustration from the Escola Massana de Barcelona, where upon graduating he received the Prize for Special Achievement in the Printmaking category. He has twice won the Junceda Award given by the Associacio Professional d’Illustradors de Catalunya and has won many prizes in France.

Meritxell Marti and Xavier Salomo form a creative duo that is constantly putting out original, imaginative books that delight readers around the world.

Xavier Salomo’s books are available to purchase on Amazon

Dragon Book Marker – a Sant Jordi children’s craft

 Ariadna Farres from Esplai Catala DC shows us how to make a cute dragon bookmark. The dragon is one of the key figures in the Sant Jordi legend. As the legend goes, the dragon terrorized the inhabitants of a Catalan town, until Sant Jordi (St. George) fought it and saved everyone in the village. This is a fun and functional craft for kids of all ages!

The Sant Jordi Legend – a play for children of all ages

Legend has it that Saint George, Patron Saint of Catalonia and international knight-errant, slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful Catalan princess. From the dragon’s blood sprouted a rosebush, from which the hero plucked the prettiest rose for the princess. And from this legend sprouted the medieval “festival of the rose”, the origin of the “Day of the Book”. Join the Casal Catala of Washington DC as they recreate this legend for children and adults alike.

Join the Casal Catala of Washington DC for a Sardana dance!

The Sardana is the national dance of Catalonia. Danced in a circle, members of the Casal Catala, in traditional dress, will show us the steps. At the festival we ask everyone to join in. So, clear a space at home and join us! A nice way to end the festival!

Thank you for virtually joining us for the 2020 Kensington Day of the Book Festival program celebrating the Catalonian origins of the “Day of the Book”! We wish everyone to stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you in person next year!

To see more on the Catalan community’s participation in past years of the festival please watch the following videos by Montserrat Gorins-Ysern, LLC.