October in Catalonia

and the Catalan-speaking countries

October is a particularly interesting month in Catalonia. Here you will find the major historical events and festivals listed as well as birth and death anniversaries of important Catalans.

The autumn is in full swing, everybody's back at work but there's plenty going on.

The main public holiday is the anti-Diada, the Dia de la Hispanidad or Columbus Day, which is the National Day of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries and in Barcelona at least is an excuse for a demonstration against Catalan Indpendence, which rarely unites more than a few thousand participants. For most Catalans, it is a welcome day off work but not really a cause of pride.

Despite the cooler weather, there are still plenty of Festa Majors and Autumn Fairs celebrated around Catalonia and as the excuse for holding them is often a Saints' Day of some kind so you should check out the pages on the Saints' Day of La Mare de Déu del Roser (October 7th), the Saints' Day of La Mare de Déu del Remei (October 9th), the Saints Day of Santa Teresa of Avila (October 15th), the Saints Day of Sant Galderic (October 16th) and the Saints Day of Santa Úrsula (October 21st).

The main traditional Catalan festival, though, is La Castanyada on October 31st, which is a fantastic chance to eat roast chestnuts and feast on the delicious marzipan balls known as panallets.

From a historical point of view, the main international event is Christopher Columbus's arrival at the island of San Salvador, now Watling, in The Bahamas on October 12th 1492. For more information, I discuss the question Was Christopher Columbus Catalan? in my 2014 book Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective.

The most significant historical events from a Catalan point of view surround the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia during the Second Spanish Republic and Civil War, Lluís Companys, who declared the Catalan State on October 6th 1934 and was executed by a Francoist firing squad on October 15th 1940.

Important birthdays include the great Catalan novelist Mercè Rodoreda on October 10th 1908 and the architect and President of the Mancomunitat of Catalonia, Josep Puig i Cadafalch on October 17th 1867.

The most important deaths are probably educationalist Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, unjustly executed for his part in the Tragic Week in Barcelona on October 13th 1909 and the aforementioned Lluís Companys executed on October 15th 1940.

The most important Historical Events, Births, Deaths and Festivals and Commemorations in October in Catalonia and the Catalan-speaking countries are listed below and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will find links to more detailed pages dedicated to each day of the month.

Many of the sayings associated with October in Catalonia focus the start of the change in temperature as autumn really kicks in.

The one of chosen to illustrate the month is "Octubre, octubret, s'enduu la calor i ens porta la fred" (October, October, it takes away the heat and brings the cold).



October 3rd 1867 - Barcelona (el Barcelonès): Teatre Romea opens, with the drama La Rosa Blanca, by Serafí Pitarra.

October 4th 1833 - Carlist uprising in Prats de Lluçanès (Osona). The First Carlist War begins.

October 5th 1966 - Guinea Equatorial: the primatologist Jordi Sabater Pi buys the albino gorilla Floquet de Neu, for 20,000 pessetes when he was two or three years old.

October 6th 1934 - President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Lluís Companys proclaims the Estat Català (Catalan State) during the Events of October 6th.

October 7th 1926 - Barcelona: The first Festa del Llibre i Dia del Llibre or Book Festival and Book Day was held. It was promoted by publisher Vicent Clavel and the Cambra del Llibre de Barcelona and would later change the day to April 23rd so it was the protypye for the current Diada de Sant Jordi.

October 8th 1998 - Banyoles (el Pla de l'Estany): the sinking of the tourist boat Oca provokes 21 dead.

October 9th 1238 - València: Jaume I the Conqueridor enters Valencia at the head of a Catalano-Aragonese army.

October 10th 879 - Ripoll (el Ripollès): Guifre el Pilós, Count of Barcelona, founds the Monastery of Ripoll

October 12th 1492 - San Salvador, currently Watling (The Bahamas): Columbus arrives at the island of San Salvador and Europeans officially "discover" America.

October 15th 1940 - Barcelona: after a military hearing without legal guarantees, Lluís Companys, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, is shot by firing squad at the castle of Montjuïc.

October 20th 1899 - Barcelona: Mayor of Barcelona, Bartomeu Robert i Yarzábal, leads a shopkeepers' protest, known as the Tancament de Caixes, against the law of Silvela and his Treasury minister, Raimundo Fernández Villaverde.

October 23rd 1977 - El Prat de Llobregat (El Baix Llobregat): Josep Tarradellas, President of the Generalitat in exile arrives Barcelona Airport after nearly forty years of exile in France.

October 24th 1843 - Barcelona: Bombing of Barcelona from the Castle of Montjuïc and la Ciutadella.

October 24th 1971 - Seat of the United Nations (New York): Pau Casals takes advantage of the concert he is conducting to make the situation in Catalonia known to the world with his celebrated "I am a Catalan" speech.

October 25th 1979 - Catalunya: the referendum on the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, known as the Estatut de Sau is held.

October 28th 1848 - Catalunya - Barcelona and Mataró (el Maresme): the railway line between the two towns opens.

October 28th 1900 - Barcelona: Àngel Rodríguez, Octavi Aballí and Lluís Roca founded Sociedad Española de Football, which became Club Deportivo Español in 1910 and has been RCD Espanyol since the 1990s.


October 5th 1815 - Sant Cugat del Vallès: Josep Maria Bocabella i Verdaguer, Catalan bookseller and philanthropist, who was the person who promoted the idea of Sagrada Família.

October 7th 1887 - Sant Feliu de Guíxols: Gaziel, pseudonym of Agustí Calvet i Pascual, Catalan writer and journalist.

October 10th 1908 - Barcelona: Mercè Rodoreda i Gurguí, Catalan writer.

October 14th 1853 - Olot (Garrotxa): Marià Vayreda, Catalan writer and painter (died 1903).

October 17th 1867 - Mataró: Josep Puig i Cadafalch, architect, art historian and politician. One of the most important architects of the Modernista movement and President of the Mancomunitat of Catalonia 1917-24

October 20th 1842 - Tampico, Mèxico: Bartomeu Robert i Yarzábal, better known as Dr. Robert, Catalan doctor and politician.

October 21st 1958 - Barcelona, Barcelonès: Pilar Rahola, Catalan journalist, writer and politician, who is a well-known Catalanist and pro-independence activist.

October 24th 1876 - Sant Feliu de Guíxols: Josep Irla i Bosch, Catalan politician, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile.

October 27th 1897 - Barcelona: Josep Trueta i Raspall, world-renowned doctor and surgeon (died 1977).


October 13th 1909 - Barcelona: Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, Catalan teacher, executed as a scapegoat for the Tragic Week or Setmana Tràgica.

October 14th 2013 - Barcelona: Max Cahner, editor, politician and historian of Catalan literature (born 1936).

October 15th 1173 - Barcelona, County of Barcelona: Peronella of Aragon, Queen of Aragon.

October 15th 1940 - Castell de Montjuïc, Barcelona: Lluís Companys i Jover, 123rd President of the Generalitat of Catalonia shot.

October 17th 2003 - Bangkok (Thailand): Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Catalan writer in the Spanish language (born 1939).

October 21st 1968 - Barcelona: Aureli Maria Escarré i Jané, Benedictine monk and abbot of Montserrat.

Festivals and Commemorations

October 1st and 2nd - International Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

October 7th - Saints' Day of La Mare de Déu del Roser. Festa Major de Sarrià

October 9th - Saints' Day of La Mare de Déu del Remei. Festa Major de Les Corts

October 12th - Dia de la Hispanidad or Columbus Day

October 15th - Saints Day of Santa Teresa of Avila. A number of country fairs are held in her honour.

October 16th - Saints Day of Sant Galderic, who is patron saint of Catalan farmers.

October 21st - Saints Day of Santa Úrsula. In Catalonia, her festival is mainly celebrated in Valls in the Alt Camp comarca in Tarragona Province.

October 21st - Celebration of la Castanyada (Halloween in English-speaking countries)

October in Catalonia Day by Day

October: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

If you think there's been an oversight or you can provide more more detail about a particular event, I'd be delighted to hear from you.

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