9/11 was Catalonia’s National Day…
Also known as Diada Nacional de Catalunya.
And 1.6 million Catalans gathered to form a human chain to demand independence.
This was called “Catalan Way” and expanded across 250 miles through villages in the Pyrenees all the way to resorts on the Mediterranean Sea. Source.
Here are some facts about Europe’s next state and its determined people!
1. The first reference of Catalonia dates back to the 12th century…
2. And the origin of the name is subject to diverse interpretations.
Theories suggest it derives from “Land of Castles” and “Land of the Goths”…
4. This is a map from the early modern days…
Circa 17th century. Source.
5. And this is Catalonia today.
Catalunya, for the Catalans, is an autonomous community of Spain.
8. Catalan language has been spoken for more than 1,000 years…
And it is not a dialect of Spanish or French. Source.
9. But was banned during Franco’s regime.
Catalan culture and nationalism were also repressed during that era. Source.
10. Salvador Dalí was Catalan.
As well as other renown artists like Miró and Tàpies.
11. Gaudí was Catalan.
His magnum opus is Barcelona’s Sagrada Família.
Catalans have many famous traditions:
13. They do a type of circle dance called Sardana.
This is the incredible opening ceremony of the 1992 Summer Olympics.
14. They have pyromaniac devils known as Correfoc…
Individuals will dress as devils, light fireworks and dance to the rhythm of drums. Source.
15. And giants with big heads called Gegants & Capgrossos.
The main feature of these figures is typically their papier maché head. Source.
17. Bullfighting was banned in 2010.
Becoming the second territory, after the Canary Islands, to ban this tradition.
18. FC Barcelona is more than just a soccer team!
FC Barcelona is one of the most important icons of the Catalan national pride.
And women give books to men.
It’s called La Diada de Sant Jordi and it is celebrated on April 23, coinciding with the anniversaries of the deaths of William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Josep Pla. Source.
20. The Catalan Sovereignty Declaration was issued on January 2013.
The declaration asserted that Catalonia is a sovereign entity and marks “the beginning of a process by which the citizens of Catalonia will be able to choose their political future as a people.” Although it was provisionally suspended by the Constitutional Court of Spain on May 2013. Source.
21. And they are expecting an independence referendum in 2014.
This agreement is popularly known as Agreement for Freedom. Source.