London celebrates La Diada, the National Day of Catalonia

Two hundred people got together in London this Wednesday to celebrate in advance the National Day of Catalonia, which is celebrated on the 11th of September. At the event, attendees had indulged in gourmet Catalan products such as cava and participated in other Catalan traditions.


September 9, 2010 11:24 PM

London (ACN).- The Catalan Government’s United Kingdom Delegation celebrated La Diada, the National Day of Catalonia, 3 days early this Wednesday in London. Over 200 members from British political, social and economic life as well as members of the Catalan community in London celebrated the day. Among the attendees were MPs from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal-Democrats parties, a minister from David Cameron’s Government as well as ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from around the world. The celebration in London also had the presence of the Spanish Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Catalan Carles Casajuana. The Catalan Deputy Delegate of the Catalan Government, Àngel Mesado, chaired the ceremony.

La Diada honours the Catalan troops that defended the city of Barcelona in the Spanish Succession War (1700-1714) and were defeated on the 11th of September of 1714. From this day on, Catalonia lost its independence within the Spanish Crown, its self-government was abolished, the Catalan language was prohibited and Spain was officially born as a country. Catalonia had to wait until 1931 to have some level of self-government back again, but it lost it again in 1939 with the Franco dictatorship. With the return of democracy, Catalonia saw its self-government come back in 1977, although the plurinational nature of the Spanish State was never recognised and Catalonia is not recognised as a nation.

The event was celebrated on One Great George Street close to the Westminster Palace of London. At the celebration, attendees were able to taste Catalan products such as cava. Moving images of Catalan emblematic themes and spaces such as La Pedrera, the Dalí Museum, the new scientific research centres, festivals and sports were projected onto the walls of the room. There was also a live cello performance to entertain guests.

In his speech, Àngel Mesado pointed out the vitality and drive of Catalan society, especially as an economic and tourist motor as well as a scientific research centre. He also touched on the entrepreneurial spirit of Catalans and the future for Catalan people. La Diada on the 11th of September, the National Day of Catalonia, is a “way to celebrate and preserve” the national charisma and democratic tradition of the country that is always looking “ahead”, said Mesado.