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The official ceremony

The Government and Parliament of Catalonia are to celebrate the National Day of Catalonia with a ceremony commemorating to human rights and the struggle for freedom and democracy

The Government and Parliament of Catalonia will be celebrating the National Day of Catalonia with a joint institutional ceremony on the theme of human rights for democracy and freedom. The event, to be held on 10 September at 9.30 pm at the Mercat del Born in Barcelona, will pay homage to people and groups who best represent the defence of democracy and freedom in recent history. 


Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948, the institutional National Day of Catalonia ceremony will, among other things, commemorate: the ‘small’ action of Rosa Parks on the day she refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white person; the first suffragettes’ struggle for women’s right to vote; Neus Català’s lesson on life in the extermination camps; LGBT people’s struggle for dignity; the defence of freedom of expression represented by Anna Politkovskaya; the strengthening of social rights to produce a more just and equal society; actions to protect the environment and also the right of people to self-determination.

The ceremony will be divided into six parts, each representing a universal right:

  • freedom of conscience and thought, which is still limited and persecuted in its different forms;
  • freedom of opinion and expression of ideas and thought, including the right to use the Catalan language, which has been denied or limited so many times throughout our history;
  • the right to life; the right of freedom from discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation and social and economic position;
  • the right to free circulation and residency;
  • the right to education, health, culture and housing;
  • the right to work and just remuneration;
  • the right to childhood and the right of children to be boys or girls, and not premature adults;
  • collective rights, particularly the right to peace and environmental protection;
  • and the final part will deal with the right to self-determination of peoples.

The act will include musical performances and readings by actors Jordi Bosch, Míriam Iscla, Mima Riera and Enric Cambray, poet and playwright Feliu Formosa, the Terrassa 48 Chamber Orchestra, the Anton Brückner Chamber Choir, the Unió de Granollers Children’s Choir, the band Animal, pianists Ignasi Cambra and Xavier Lloses, singers Marina Rossell, Juan Manuel Galeas and Sara Pi, dancer Lali Ayguadé and choreographer Lisard Tranis.


The institutional ceremony will take place on 10 September at 9.30 pm in the El Born Cultural and Memorial Centre square in Barcelona

Parliament’s Gold Medal of Honour

Along with the ceremony, the press conference also announced the Parliamentary Committee’s agreement by which the Parliament’s Gold Medal of Honour is to be awarded to the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Barcelona Guàrdia Urbana (local police), the Local Police of Cambrils, the emergency services, the Barcelona and the Government of Catalonia Civil Defence Fire Brigades, the Medical Emergency System, the Emergency Centre of Catalonia, the Red Cross and the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Catalonia.

Minut de silenci al mercat de la Boqueria (fotografia del Servei d'Emergències Mèdiques)

(Photo: SEM)

The poster for 11 September 2017

The poster for 11 September 2017 features the word freedom as a key message, as this is one of the concepts being highlighted this year, focussing on individual and collective human rights and freedom in all areas for men, peoples, women, expression and opinion, among others. 

The colours of the Catalan flag, red and yellow, are used, with black added to stand out against the yellow background. This combination of colours provides a high degree of contrast, strength and power. 

The Catalan word for freedom, llibertat, on the poster is used for a graphic word play: 

  1. the initial letters ‘LL’, upside down and reversed appear as the two number ‘1s’ of the date: 11.
  2. The LL and the two 1s together: 11 and the colour red symbolise the 4 stripes in the Catalan flag (self-identity and freedom).