Casa Batlló | Barcelona by Office Holidays
Celebrated annually on 11 September, this is a public holiday in the Catalan region of Spain. Barcelona is the principal city in the region. The day known as 'Festa Nacional de Catalunya' or 'Diada' and marks 11 September 1714 when Catalan forces were defeated by King Philip V of Spain.
Since the middle of the 17th century, Catalonia had been a republic under the protection of France. The death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 triggered the War of the Spanish Succession in which an alliance of European nations wanted to stop France and Spain merging under Philip Anjou, who had been chosen by Charles as his successor.
On 11 September 1714, the 14 month long siege of Barcelona finally came to an end, when the forces of the Bourbon King Philip V of Spain defeated the Catalan troops who had been fighting to support the Hapsburg dynasty.
The defeat meant the end of the Principality of Catalonia and the perceived loss of liberty and freedom when the region was fully integrated into Spain.
Unusually the holiday marks a defeat rather than a victory, but marking the day as a holiday is meant to represent the liberties that were lost that day and to encourage Catalans to resist oppression.
This holiday was first celebrated at the end of the 19th century, though it was suppressed during General Franco's rule from 1939, and was only reinstated as a public holiday in Catalonia in 1980 following the restoration of The Autonomous Government of Catalonia on 31 December 1979.
Catalan nationalists will pay homage to the troops who died defending Barcelona during the siege. Demonstrations in support of independence for Catalonia are common, along with festivities celebrating traditional Catalan music and cuisine.