Catalans celebrate Sant Jordi

Political discomfort bloomed in Catalonia on Monday as thousands of Catalans gifted their partners with yellow roses during Sant Jordi, the annual celebration of the region's patron saint.

Catalans have a tradition of giving a red rose to mark the day but in a sign of protest against the imprisonment of pro-independence leaders, this year many decided to gift yellow roses as a simile of the yellow ribbons used in the demonstrations to show support to the jailed politicians and activists.

Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent joined the demonstration by hanging a yellow rose from a fence with a banner demanding the release of people they consider political prisoners.

Spain claims the Catalan leaders are not political prisoners because they broke the constitution when they held a banned referendum on independence.

During Sant Jordi, women give a book as a gift to men while they give a red rose to their partners.