The 11th September is the national day of Catalonia. The Catalan National Day - La Diada Nacional de Catalunya commemorates the fall of Barcelona during the War of Spanish Succession in 1714 resulting in Catalonia losing much autonomy. This day was officially proclaimed as Catalonia's national day in 1980 by the restored Generalitat de Catalunya.
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
The centre of the celebration is the Generalitat, the Catalan government, in Placa Sant Jaume. An important tradition is laying flowers at the monument of Rafael Casanova, leader of the Catalan resistance at the time of their defeat and a symbol of the Catalan´s ongoing fight
Activities take place all over the city, with the dancing of the sardana, castellers displays (human towers),much singing of the Catalan national anthem Els Segadors, and the Catalan flag senyeras being displayed from balconies, buses and even worn by the very enthusiastic.The deceased heroes of the war are venerated all year round by an eternal flame in the square just next to Santa Maria del Mar, known as the Fossar de les Moeres, placed on the site of their grave.