An essential guide to Catalonia


Positioned within the far north east of Spain, Catalonia is the nation’s second most populated autonomous group with a staggering 7.5 million folks dwelling inside its borders. Its populace even accounts for over 16% of Spain’s complete inhabitants. Catalonia’s historical past and tradition are regarded extraordinarily vital to people who dwell throughout the area, and plenty of respect if these visiting are aware of a few of the issues that make up a part of Catalonia’s identification.

A short historical past of Catalonia

The primary 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.

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

Within the 19th century, nationalist sentiment grew in Catalonia and greater than a decade later Catalonia was lastly recognised as semi- autonomous. This nonetheless was quick lived. Throughout the Spanish civil conflict in 1936, the area supported the loosing Republican facet. After Franco’s victory, the identical suppression of Catalonia befell.

Following the defeats of Hitler and Mussolini, Franco lessened the suppression of Catalonia in concern that he would lose his energy in an rebellion. After his loss of life within the 1970’s, the nation transitioned to a democracy permitting freedom of cultural expression. Since then, the folks of Catalonia have been making an attempt 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 help of regional independence.

Catalan 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. That is how kids obtain their presents on Christmas day.


Usually, the Caganer (a figurine squatting and defecating) is hidden within the nativity scene ready for kids to search out it.

La Castanyada

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

tio de nadal

Necessary dates and occasions

La Merce

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

September 11th

This present day marks the defeat of Barcelona throughout the 1714 Warfare of Spanish Succession. It’s now often known as Catalonia Independence Day.

Sant Jordi

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

Sant Joan

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

la merce

Food and drinks

The staple dish of the Catalan area is pan con tomate, toasted bread with tomato, salt, and oil. This is among the area’s simplest dishes, but in addition one of the vital scrumptious. Different 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 clever, crema catalana – a standard crème brulee- is commonly loved.

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

From November to April, calçotada (much like 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, will also 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 important Catalan phrases to make use of throughout your keep.

  • Good day – 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’
  • Thanks! 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’
  • Avenue. Carrer. ‘Kah-rerr’
  • Cheers! Salut! ‘sah- loot’

barcelona sunset

Sandra Roig is Advertising and marketing Director at AB Residence Barcelona. AB Residence Barcelona is an house rental company providing over one thousand quick and long run residences throughout Barcelona.

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