Located within the far north east of Spain, Catalonia is the nation’s second most populated autonomous neighborhood with a staggering 7.5 million individuals dwelling inside its borders. Its populace even accounts for over 16% of Spain’s whole inhabitants. Catalonia’s historical past and tradition are regarded extraordinarily essential to people who reside inside the area, and lots of recognize if these visiting are aware of among the issues that make up a part of Catalonia’s id.

A short historical past of Catalonia

The first use of the time period ‘Catalonia’ was within the 12th century, and after the autumn of Charlemagne on this period, Catalonia united with the neighbouring Kingdom of Aragon. It was nonetheless a part of the Kingdom of Aragon when Spain grew to become unified following the wedding of Isabella and Ferdinand, but it surely operated as a separate area with its personal language and legal guidelines.

However, when Catalonia selected to assist the Habsburgs as a substitute of the Spanish within the War of Spanish Succession, King Philip V banned the Catalan language and tradition upon his victory. Such was seen as justified punishment for selecting not to assist him within the struggle.

In the 19th century, nationalist sentiment grew in Catalonia and greater than a decade later Catalonia was lastly recognised as semi- autonomous. This nevertheless was brief lived. During the Spanish civil struggle in 1936, the area supported the loosing Republican aspect. After Franco’s victory, the identical suppression of Catalonia occurred.

Following the defeats of Hitler and Mussolini, Franco lessened the suppression of Catalonia in worry that he would lose his energy in an rebellion. After his demise within the 1970’s, the nation transitioned to a democracy permitting freedom of cultural expression. Since then, the individuals of Catalonia have been attempting to strengthen the Catalan tradition and language as soon as once more.

The present independence motion began within the early 2010s, its supporters claiming that whereas Catalonia helps the remainder of the nation economically, the Catalan tradition continues to be not recognised sufficient by Spain. This sentiment led to the referendum vote in 2017, an unlawful vote which resulted in lots of political leaders being arrested. These political leaders are awaiting trial in jail however protests proceed in assist of regional independence.

Catalan traditions

Tìo de Nadal

A festive log with a humorous face. From December 13th up till Christmas day, kids ‘feed’ the Tìo with dried fruit and berries. Then on the 25th, they beat the log with a stick singing and inspiring it to ‘poop’ presents. This is how kids obtain their presents on Christmas day.


Typically, the Caganer (a figurine squatting and defecating) is hidden within the nativity scene ready for youngsters to discover it.

La Castanyada

Occurring from 31st October-1st November, this pageant marks the tip of summer time and the start of the colder months. Traditionally, heat chestnuts are eaten together with panellets (marzipan tasting almond pastries often coated in pine nuts). During La Castanyada, All Saints Day is well known commemorating family members who’ve handed away.

tio de nadal

Important dates and occasions

La Merce

La Merce celebrates the feast day of Our Lady of Mercy on September 24th. It lasts an entire weekend and consists of different Catalan traditions like Correfoc (a fireplace run), Sardana (a standard dance), Gegants (papier maché giants) and Castellers (human towers).

September 11th

This day marks the defeat of Barcelona throughout the 1714 War of Spanish Succession. It is now referred to as Catalonia Independence Day.

Sant Jordi

On April 23rd, the day Sant Jordi (the patron saint of Catalonia) died, locals trade books and roses.

Sant Joan

Sant Joan can be an essential determine in Catalonia who is well known on June 23rd. Celebrations embody fireworks, bonfires, and a heat welcome to the sunny season in Catalonia.

la merce

Food and drink

The staple dish of the Catalan area is pan con tomate, toasted bread with tomato, salt, and oil. This is without doubt one of the area’s simplest dishes, but additionally probably the most scrumptious. Other conventional dishes embody rovellos (large mushrooms with a pink and orange color), esqueixada (cod fish with vegetable salad, olive oil, and vinegar), and butifarra (spicy sausage). Dessert sensible, crema catalana – a standard crème brulee- is usually loved.

Traditionally, escudella (a stew with greens and meat) is served on Christmas day, whereas canelons (pasta rolls filled with leftover cheese and meat from the day gone by) are eaten on December 26th.

From November to April, calçotada (related to onions which are peeled and eaten with salvitxada sauce) are additionally eaten.

Some typical regional sauces are garlic mayonnaise (allioli) and romesco, a spicy sauce with tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and olive oil.

Cava, Catalonia’s model of champagne, can be traced again to the area, in addition to Moscatell, a candy wine served throughout the colder months and particularly throughout La Castanyada.

pan con tomate

Catalan language

With greater than 9 million native audio system of the language, listed here are few essential Catalan phrases to use throughout your keep.

  • Hello – Hola ‘ohh-lah’
  • Goodbye – Adéu ‘ah- day- oo’
  • Good Morning- Bon Dia ‘bon dee-ah’
  • Good Afternoon – Bona Tarda ‘bon-ah tar-dah’
  • Goodnight – Bona nit ‘bon- ah neet’
  • How are you? Com estàs? ‘cohm eh-stas’
  • Please. Si us plau ‘see ooh-s plough’
  • Thank you! Merci! ‘mer-see’
  • You’re welcome. De res. ‘dah ress’
  • I’m sorry. Ho sento ‘oo sen-two’
  • Do you communicate English? Parles angles? ‘par-less ang-less’
  • Street. Carrer. ‘Kah-rerr’
  • Cheers! Salut! ‘sah- loot’

barcelona sunset

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an condominium rental company providing over one thousand brief and long run residences throughout Barcelona.

If you prefer to to be a visitor blogger onBackpackers Newsso as to elevate your profile, pleasecontact us.

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