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Barcelonas and Beyond #4 - Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October
September 24, 2016
Welcome to Issue Four of Barcelonas and Beyond for Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October. This week we feature Festes de Sant Miquel around Catalonia and a tense political moment in the Catalan Parliament.
I send the newsletter every Saturday with information for the coming week starting the following Monday mixture of what to do information, including festivals, concerts and of course football so please feel free to pass this email on to your friends and contacts.
Festes de Sant MiquelWith the city of Barcelona still a little hung over from the Festes de la Mercè, we have a slightly quieter week ahead of us. However, Thursday 29th September is the Saints' Day of Sant Miquel, which is an excuse for Festa Majors all round Catalonia. In Barcelona, the most important festival is in La Barceloneta so I'm sure the streets of the once fishing, now tourist, quarter and the beaches will be full of fun and fireworks.
Click here to read about the Saints' Day of Sant Miquel
A Vote of Confidence in the Catalan ParliamentThis week is quite a big one in Catalan politics. Tuesday 27th is the first anniversary of the elections that brought the pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) to power in the Catalan Parliament a year ago.
The year hasn't gone quite as well as some people had hoped partly because Junts pel Sí didn't win an absolute majority and have had to rely on the support of the also pro-independence but far left CUP party, who refused to allow a vote on the budget earlier in the year. As a result, President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, decided to submit himself to a vote of confidence, which will be held on Wednesday 28th.
Most people are reasonably confident he'll get through this tough test because if he doesn't, there'll be a crisis in the Catalan government and the independence process will have run into a very large obstacle.
This Week in Catalonia Radio Show
Every Wednesday at 12 0'clock midday, I host a radio show on Barcelona City FM 107.3 with my colleague Jordi Vilanova.
This week we'll be talking to British writer, journalist and radio presenter Dave Bull and his son, Mitch. Dave and Mitch are based in Alicante and following last year's very successful Canoeing for Cancer are on a motorbike tour of Spain raising money for the same charity. They'll be popping into the studio to talk about the trip and we'll also be asking them how the political situation looks to expats based in other parts of Spain.
If you miss the show, I generally post the podcast of the show to our website late on Wednesday. Click here to vist the This Week in Catalonia website
This Week's Football
As I'm writing this newsletter on the morning of Saturday 24th September, this weekend's results are still a mystery. On Saturday 24th, FC Barcelona play Sporting de Gijón away in El Molinón at 4.15 pm and Espanyol are at home to Celta de Vigo at 8.45 pm on Sunday 25th.
FC Barcelona face Borrussia Moenchengladbach in the second tie in the first round league in the Champions League on Wednesday 28th September and although matching their 7-0 drubbing of Celtic would be a lot to ask, let's hope they play better than they did in their 1-1 draw against Atlético de Madrid.
Next weekend both Barcelona clubs have away games on Sunday 2nd October, Espanyol facing Villarreal at 6.30 pm and Barça playing against Celta de Vigo at 8.45 pm.
This Week's Historical and Cultural Highlights
Monday September 26th
September 26th is the European Day of Languages so you can expect to see the role of Catalan in the news. It is also the Saints Day of Sant Cosme and Sant Damià, which is an excuse for Festa Majors around Catalonia, most significantly in the Barcelona area, the Festa major of El Prat de Llobregat in the Baix Llobregat comarca just south of the city.
September 27th is the first anniversary of the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia that brought the current pro-independence coalition to power. Also on this day in 1861, Bonaventura Carles Aribau died. Aribau was the poet responsible for starting the literary movement known as the Renaixença and the subsequent recovery as Catalan as a literary language.
September 28th is the birthday of two celebrated Catalans. On this day in 1819, Narcís Monturiol, the inventor of the first manned submarine with a combustion engine, was born, and September 28th 1881 is the birthday of Eugeni d'Ors, a Catalan writer and philosopher, who was the ideologue between the intellectual movement known as Noucentisme in the early 20th century.
On September 29th 1935, the Bloc Obrer i Camperol and Esquerra Comunista joined together to form the Partit Obrer d'Unificació Marxista (POUM), which George Orwell joined and writes about in Homage to Catalonia, and on this day in 1977, the provisional Generalitat was restored after the death of Franco nearly two years earlier.
September 29th is also the Saints Day of Sant Miquel, which is an excuse for Festa Majors around Catalonia, the most important for Barcelona residents being the Festa Major of La Barceloneta.
On September 30th 2005, the Parliament of Catalonia passed the project of the new Statute of Autonomy with an 88% in favour, including all parties except the Partido Popular. Also September 992 marked the death of Count of Barcelona, Girona, Osona i Urgell, Borrell II, who had declared the independence of what would become Catalonia from the Franks in 987.
On October 1st 1792, the first issue of the Diari de Barcelona was published. This was one of the first news sheets in Europe and would continue being published until the 1990s.
On October 2nd 1282, Pere II, Count of Barcelona and King of Aragon manages to take control of the island of Sicily.
Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical PerspectiveYou can find out much more about the historical background to Catalonia's claims for independence in my 2014 book Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective
Find out more about the book here
If you want a particularly authentic Barcelona experience, I can highly recommend taking in some flamenco. There are plenty of options, including the Palau de la Música and the Tablao de Carmen, but I really like the shows at Palua Dalmases myself.
Another great option is to catch one of the summer classical music, mainly guitar, concerts at one of the city centre Gothic churches, such as Santa Anna or Santa Maria del Pi, before the programme closes for the winter. The acoustics are marvellous and the surroundings are breathtaking so if you like classical music, it's a very special experience.
Also be sure to check out the jazz gigs at Jamboree Jazz & Dance Club in Plaça Reial just off La Rambla.
Anyway, that's about it for this week, if you want to keep up to date with all the new information I'm creating, make sure you visit Barcelonas.com regularly.
All the best
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