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La Diada

 

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La Diada, or Catalan National Day, is held on 11th September and is a holiday particular to the region. Surprisingly, the date of the holiday actually celebrates a famous defeat, rather than a victory, as it was on this day in 1714 that the Catalans finally surrendered in a war against centralist Spain and suffered a loss of national liberty.

There had been an ongoing war after the death of the Spanish king Charles II when the Bourbon and Hapsburg dynasties challenged each other for the Spanish throne.The Catalans had sided with the ultimately losing Hapsburgs and were punished by Philip V on his succession; on defeat the Catalan national identity was attacked in punishment.Catalan laws, language and traditions were abolished; the celebrations on 11 September therefore represent the region’s historic fight for independence and its hopes for regaining its own nationality.