Catalonia’s National Day scheduled festivities
September 11th is the National Day of Catalonia. It remembers the day Barcelona was defeated by the Bourbon army in 1714 and Catalonia lost its self-governmental institutions and a new political system was imposed. The institutional festivities include the traditional offer of flowers to Rafael Casanova’s statue, who was leading the Catalan army during the 14-month Siege of Barcelona (1713-1714). The main institutional event takes place in the Ciutadella Park of the Catalan capital. At 18.00, the main demonstration organised by civil society organisations supporting Catalonia’s independence will kick off.
Barcelona (ACN).- Catalonia celebrates it National Day on September 11th, remembering the day it lost its self-governmental institutions in 1714. This year Catalan National Day will be special due to the massive demonstration supporting Catalonia\u2019s independence from Spain, scheduled at 18.00 (CET), taking place in downtown Barcelona. However, the celebrations have already started the evening before, with the Golden Medal of the Catalan Parliament\u2019s ceremony. This year the Catholic charity for social inclusion Caritas and the NGO supporting Catalan culture and language Òmnium Cultural receive the award. The National Day\u2019s main celebrations are on the morning of September 11th, with offerings of flowers and an institutional event at the Ciutadella Park in Barcelona. The first and most traditional flower offering is to the statue of Rafael Casanova in Barcelona, who defended the Catalan capital during the 14-month siege by the Bourbon army in 1714. Casanova was leading the Catalan army in Barcelona and, after its defeat, the new king -who created a new centralised state and banned Catalan language- put Casanova\u2019s head in a hanging cage placed at the entrance of the Catalan capital.
September 11th 1714
Each September 11th, Catalonia celebrates its National Day. The festivities remember the day Catalonia lost its self-government institutions. On September 11th 1714, the Bourbon army entered into Barcelona, after besieging the Catalan capital for 14 months for supporting the Habsburg dynasty\u2019s claims to the Spanish crown. Barcelona\u2019s defeat brought the end of the Succession War (1700-1714). It also meant the creation of Spain as a centralised state, and not understood as a union of kingdoms and peoples being under the same crown but having different political systems, with self-government institutions and their own laws. Since Catalonia had supported the Habsburgs, the new Bourbon king took special interest in ending Catalonia\u2019s self-governmental institutions (some of them dating from the 13th century). He also banned the Catalan language and imposed other punishments on the population, such as not being allowed to have knifes at home under pain of death; only a bread knife was allowed, which had to be chained to the kitchen table. The new state and dynasty transferred all powers to Madrid and imposed a homogenisation of the Spanish territory and peoples, imposing the Castilian language, later known as Spanish. Catalonia would not recover its self-government institutions until the 1930s, but Franco\u2019s dictatorship banned them again, and Catalonia had to wait until 1979.
September 11th 2012
On Monday September 10th, at 20.30 (CET), the Catalan Parliament gives its Golden Medals to the NGO supporting the Catalan language and culture Òmnium Cultural and the Catholic Church\u2019s charity Càritas, working on social protection and inclusion. Previously, the Catalan President, Artur Mas, broadcast an institutional message
At 21.45, the Catalan Parliament unveils the shield with the four Catalan stripes on its building\u2019s façade, which had been dismantled during Franco\u2019s dictatorship. The restored shield replicates the one unveiled in 1932 in the very same place. After the Spanish Civil War, Franco dismantled the Catalan version and restored the previous shield from the Bourbons. In fact, the shield from 1932 was replacing the old shield from the Bourbon dynasty in the main building of Barcelona\u2019s military citadel, built to control Barcelona in the 18th Century. From 1932 to 1939, this building hosted the Catalan Parliament, as it does nowadays.
At 23.00, the Catalan nationalist parties get together at \u2018El Fossar de les Moreres\u2019, next to Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona. This square was built on the common graveyard where the defenders of Barcelona in 1713-1714 were buried. The ceremony honours those who defended Barcelona and is also a traditional event of the supporters of Catalonia\u2019s independence.
Tomorrow, September 11th, at 9.00, most of the political parties, the main NGOs, and sports clubs, such as FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol, will make their floral offer to Rafael Casanova\u2019s statue at Barcelona downtown. It is the most traditional ceremony of the Catalan National Day. Other floral offers will be made throughout Catalonia.
At noon, the institutional main event will take place at the Ciutadella Park. Where a homage to the Catalan language will be made, with the reading of poems and the performance of songs. A Catalan flag will be raised and Catalonia\u2019s anthem, \u2018Els Segadors\u2019, performed by a choir.
However, this year, the climax will be the demonstration supporting Catalan independence from Spain, scheduled to start at 18.00 in downtown Barcelona. It is expected to be massive, comparable to that of July 10th 2010, where more than 1 million people gathered in the Catalan capital claiming that Catalonia is a nation and has the right to decide its own future.