On 11 September the National Day of Catalonia is celebrated in the Catalonian Autonomous Region of Spain. When Catalonia gained special self-government within Spain in late 1979, they moved quickly to establish this holiday and celebrate it beginning in 1980.
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The day commemorates the fall of Barcelona in 1714 to French Bourbon forces during the War of the Spanish Succession. The city fell after a siege, and Bourbon rulers held sway in Catalonia for years and were not particularly concerned about Catalonians’ liberties.
Thus, the day is a remembrance of a painful defeat and a call to never again let liberty be squashed in Catalonia. It is a call to resist all oppression and never give up hope that freedom can again be restored.
National Day of Catalonia events include flower and wreath laying ceremonies at various monuments dedicated to Catalonia’s past heroes, special meetings where the memory of Catalonian soldiers from the long-ago battle of Barcelona is revived, and with some, political protests. There are also special musical concerts, festive meals, parties with family and friends, and proud displaying of the Catalonian flag.