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Day of Catalonia in Spain

The National Day of Catalonia (Festa Nacional de Catalunya or La Diada), marks the anniversary of the Bourbon forces' recapture of Barcelona, which occurred on September 11, 1714.

Is Day of Catalonia a Public Holiday?

Day of Catalonia is a public holiday in Catalonia, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Rendering of a waving flag of Catalonia.

©iStockphoto.com/Matt Trommer

What Do People Do?

Many events are held in Barcelona on the Day of Catalonia. These include:

  • Organizations and political parties laying flowers and wreaths at monuments to Catalan heroes.
  • Meetings to pay homage to the soldiers who defended Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • Political demonstrations.
  • Concerts featuring traditional and modern music.
  • Private parties.
  • Communal meals of paella cooked in pans four meters (12 feet) in diameter.

Many people, businesses and organizations also wave and display Catalan flags on this day.

Public Life

Many businesses and other organizations are closed for the Day of Catalonia in Catalonia, but not in other parts of Spain. Many stores are also closed but some bakers and food stores may be open. Public transport services generally run to a reduced schedule but there may be no service in rural areas. Demonstrations and parades may cause some disruption to local traffic, particularly in Barcelona.

If the Day of Catalonia falls on a Sunday, regional or local authorities may move the public holiday to a different date. If September 11 falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, many businesses and organizations are also closed on Monday, September 10, or Friday, September 12.

Background

The Catalonians were defeated in the Siege of Barcelona on September 11, 1714. This was part of the War of the Spanish Succession between 1701 and 1714. This marked the start of a period of French (Bourbon) rule in the area that is now the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia.

Catalonia shares international borders with France and Andorra. It also borders the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon and Valencia . The Autonomous Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) was restored to power on December 31, 1979. Its first Act was to proclaim September 11 as the Day of Catalonia. The day was to be marked as a special day that represented the painful memories of the loss of liberties that occurred in 1714, the attitude of resistance to oppression, and the hope of recovery. The National Day of Catalonia was an official public holiday for the first time on September 11, 1980.

Symbols

Catalonia's flag is the Senyera. It consists of nine horizontal stripes. Five of these are yellow and four are red. The Senyera is also a symbol of the Crown of Aragon.

Day of Catalonia Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015FriSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2016SunSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2017MonSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2018TueSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2019WedSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2020FriSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2021SatSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2022SunSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2023MonSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2024WedSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia
2025ThuSep 11Day of CataloniaLocal holidayCatalonia

We diligently research and continuously update our holiday dates and information. If you find a mistake, please let us know.

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