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IN PICS: Sant Jordi Day marked with yellow ‘protest' roses

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IN PICS: Sant Jordi Day marked with yellow ‘protest' roses
Hundreds of yellow roses formed a wall surrounding a banner reading “Free political prisoners” in central Barcelona. All photos: AFP
10:44 CEST+02:00
Politics overshadowed celebrations of Catalonia's patron saint's day on Monday with many swapping the traditional red rose for a yellow one to campaign for the release of the region's ‘political prisoners'.

Every April 23rd on the day of Sant Jordi, or St George, people traditionally present those they love with a red rose and book.

READ MORE: Why St George's Day is marked in Catalonia with roses and books

The day is a bank holiday across the region and people gather in the streets to browse book and flower stalls set up for the occasion.

People look at books on the Ramblas boulevard during Sant Jordi festivities in Barcelona

This year, however, as the region in gripped in a turbulent political situation, many chose yellow roses instead.

A woman places a yellow rose on a Saint George sculpture at the Generalitat Palace. 

The colour yellow has come to symbolize support for for nine Catalan independence leaders held in prison near Madrid over "rebellion" for their role in organising the illegal referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.

They face up to 30 years in jail if convicted of that charge.

An elderly woman on a wheelchair poses for a picture in front of a banner depecting Catalonia's ousted leader Carles Puigdemont characterized as Goku of the Japanese animated series "Dragon Ball Z" in a street of Barcelona.

Yellow ribbons have been placed on the empty chairs in parliament to represent their absense and have been donned by high profile figures - including Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola whose ribbon has resulted in a fine by English football authorities.

READ MORE: Guardiola defends wearing Catalonia political symbol yellow ribbon

Last weekend police forced Barça fans to discard their yellow T-shirts before entering the stadium to watch the Barça-Sevilla Copa del Rey final.

In Barcelona, on Monday hundreds of yellow roses formed a wall surrounding a banner reading “Free political prisoners” in central Barcelona.

Catalan parliament's speaker Roger Torrent places a yellow rose next to a banner reading: "Free political prisoners" during Sant Jordi festivities in Barcelona. 

A woman places a yellow rose with a sticker reading "We are republic"

The Ramblas was packed with people on Sant Jordi:

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