The Diada – the National Day of Catalonia is upon us. Celebrated on September 11th it marks the anniversary of the Bourbon forces’ (France) recapture of Barcelona in 1714. This day is seen as an important celebration, a day to represent the memories of the loss of liberties that occurred in 1714, the attitude of resistance to oppression and the hope of reformation. When on December 31st, 1979 the autonomous government of Catalonia was restored its first Act was to proclaim the Diada.
It is an excellent time to rent an apartment in Barcelona as there are many activities held on this day long festival, most of which will give you an overview of Catalan culture. Certain events hold the center stage such as the meetings to pay your respects to the 4000 soldiers who lost their lives defending the city at Fossar de les Moreres, the eternal flame next to the church of Santa Maria del Mar located in the Born.
Since it is a Catalan national holiday most shops will be closed. Instead you can go out and enjoy the festivities as well as the political demonstration that often happen on this day that support Catalonian independence. Other wise you can head down from the Arc de Triomf down Passeig de Lluís Companys towards the main celebration in the Parc de la Cuitadella. There you will be able to assist one one of the many concerts or poetry readings taking place as well as the dignitary’s speech.
This will also be the perfect day to discover Catalonian specialities of paella other delicious food stand that will be open all around the city. You will also get to discover traditional aspect of the festival like the national anthem of Catalonia “Els Segadors” which often resonates through out the day . One this day the city gets taken over by the Senyera, the catalan flag composed of 9 yellow and red stripes which holds a legend all of its own!
On this day you will be transported by the catalan ways into a festival full of pride and remembrance as well as tradition. Be sure to visit other parts of town like Gracia, the trendy upper scale part or town, or more local and lively Sants neighbourhood to see the different festivities through out town!