Invented by Spanish booksellers in the 1920’s, the World Book Day coincides with the date of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, as well as the Catalan tradition of celebrating Saint George’s Day on 23 April by men giving roses to the ladies of their hearts. Since 1925, the tradition was updated: in return for the rose, the woman gave a book. (Falco and Mayann are therefore wearing costumes from Catalonia.)

Since 1995, UNESCO celebrates the World Book and Copyright Day on this date. Confused Brits claim that it is also the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare, but forget that the staunchly anti-papist Elizabethans did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until much later. Thus, Shakespeare died 10 days after Cervantes, although both died on 23 April!

Don Quixote has been considered the first modern novel; it introduced many previously unknown or sparsely used storytelling techniques. The anti-hero also shows character development, contrary to many of his idols in earlier chivalric romances – Don Quixote makes a pessimistic inner journey from enchantment to disillusion. (Let’s hope that Falco’s and Mayann’s journey will be a happier one.)