Catalan people
Overview
 
The Catalans or Catalonians are the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 that form a historical nationality in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The inhabitants of the adjacent portion of southern France (known in Catalonia proper as Catalunya Nord
Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

, and in France as the Pays Catalan) are sometimes included in this definition. Also, sometimes Catalan is used to define peoples from Catalan Countries
Catalan Countries
The Catalan term Països Catalans refers to the territories where the Catalan language is spoken.The first mentions of the term date back to the late 19th century, but it never surpassed the limits of a small circle of Catalan authors until its strictly cultural dimension became increasingly...

, which include other areas where the Catalan language is spoken.
The other Catalan-speaking
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 peoples, namely Andorran
Andorran
Andorran may refer to:* Something of, or related to Andorra* A person from Andorra, or of Andorran descent. For information about the Andorran people, see Demographics of Andorra and Culture of Andorra. For specific Andorrans, see List of Andorrans....

s, Valencians
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

, Balearics
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

 and some Aragonese
La Franja
La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

 and Alguerese
Alghero
Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

 are sometimes identified as a distinct Catalan ethnic group by certain nationalists.
Encyclopedia
The Catalans or Catalonians are the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 that form a historical nationality in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The inhabitants of the adjacent portion of southern France (known in Catalonia proper as Catalunya Nord
Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia is a term that is sometimes used, particularly in Catalan writings, to refer to the territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659...

, and in France as the Pays Catalan) are sometimes included in this definition. Also, sometimes Catalan is used to define peoples from Catalan Countries
Catalan Countries
The Catalan term Països Catalans refers to the territories where the Catalan language is spoken.The first mentions of the term date back to the late 19th century, but it never surpassed the limits of a small circle of Catalan authors until its strictly cultural dimension became increasingly...

, which include other areas where the Catalan language is spoken.

Extended concept

The other Catalan-speaking
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 peoples, namely Andorran
Andorran
Andorran may refer to:* Something of, or related to Andorra* A person from Andorra, or of Andorran descent. For information about the Andorran people, see Demographics of Andorra and Culture of Andorra. For specific Andorrans, see List of Andorrans....

s, Valencians
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

, Balearics
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

 and some Aragonese
La Franja
La Franja is a term that refers to the Catalan-speaking territories of Aragon bordering Catalonia, in Spain. It literally means "the strip" and can also more properly be called Franja d'Aragó or Franja de Ponent in Catalan ....

 and Alguerese
Alghero
Alghero , is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.-History:The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times...

 are sometimes identified as a distinct Catalan ethnic group by certain nationalists. The latter assertion is especially rooted in Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

.
In the aforementioned territories (often designated Països Catalans, "Catalan Countries", by Catalan nationalists
Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

). This extended concept is unpopular and brings eventual conflict, most of all in the Valencian Community
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

 where it is a great issue involving discrimination of the language and mediatic manipulation.

Historical background

The earliest reference to Catalans (Catalanenses), treated as an ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

, is found in the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Liber maiolichinus, an Italian epic poem of c.1120. This also contains the earliest reference to Catalonia (Catalania) as the name for their homeland.

The area that is now known primarily as Catalonia was invaded in 1500 BC by Proto-Celtic Urnfield people
Urnfield culture
The Urnfield culture was a late Bronze Age culture of central Europe. The name comes from the custom of cremating the dead and placing their ashes in urns which were then buried in fields...

 who brought the rite of burning the dead. These Indo-European people were absorbed by the Iberians
Iberians
The Iberians were a set of peoples that Greek and Roman sources identified with that name in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula at least from the 6th century BC...

 beginning in 600 BC in a process that would not complete until the fourth century BC. These groups came under the rule of various invading groups starting with the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns and Carthaginians
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

, who set up colonies along the coast, including Barcino
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 (present-day Barcelona) itself. Following the Punic Wars
Punic Wars
The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 B.C.E. to 146 B.C.E. At the time, they were probably the largest wars that had ever taken place...

, the Romans replaced the Carthaginians as the dominant power in Catalonia by 206 BCE. Rome established Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 as the official language and imparted a distinctly Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 culture upon the local population, which merged with Roman colonists from the Italian peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

. An early precursor to the Catalan language began to develop from a local form of popular Latin before and during the collapse of the Roman Empire. Various Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 tribes arrived following nearly six centuries of Roman rule, which had completely transformed the area into the Roman province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

 of Tarraconensis. The Visigoth
Visigoth
The Visigoths were one of two main branches of the Goths, the Ostrogoths being the other. These tribes were among the Germans who spread through the late Roman Empire during the Migration Period...

s established themselves in the 5th century and would rule the area until 718 when Muslim Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s and Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 conquered the region and held it for close to a century. The Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 held back small Muslim raiding parties which had penetrated virtually unchallenged as far as central France; Frankish suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 extended over much of present-day Catalonia. Larger wars with the Muslims began with the Spanish March
Marca Hispanica
The Marca Hispanica , also known as Spanish March or March of Barcelona was a buffer zone beyond the province of Septimania, created by Charlemagne in 795 as a defensive barrier between the Umayyad Moors of Al-Andalus and the Frankish Kingdom....

 which led to the beginnings of the reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

(reconquest) by Catalonian forces over most of Catalonia by the year 801. It was during this period that a Catalan national identity fully emerged as Barcelona became an important center for Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 forces in the Iberian peninsula.

Catalonia emerged from the conflicts in Muslim Spain
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 as a regional power, as Christian rulers entrenched themselves in the region during the Carolingian
Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 period. Rulers such as Wilfred the Hairy
Wilfred the Hairy
Wilfred or Wifred, called the Hairy, was Count of Urgell , Cerdanya , Barcelona , Girona , Besalú , and Ausona ....

 became masters of a larger territory encompassing Catalonia. The Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 included Catalonia, Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

, Valencia
Kingdom of Valencia
The Kingdom of Valencia , located in the eastern shore of the Iberian Peninsula, was one of the component realms of the Crown of Aragon. When the Crown of Aragon merged by dynastic union with the Crown of Castile to form the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Valencia became a component realm of the...

 and the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

. The marriage of Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 and Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 and the conquest of the last Muslim kingdom of Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

 in 1492AD tied Catalonia politically to the fate of the new Spanish kingdom, while a regional culture continued to survive and thrive.

Some sporadic regional unrest led to conflicts such as the Revolt of the Germanies in Valencia and Majorca, and the 1640 revolt in Catalonia known as the Reapers' War. This latter conflict embroiled Spain in a larger war with France as many Catalan nobles allied themselves with Louis XIII
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...

. The war continued until 1659AD and ended with the Peace of the Pyrenees
Treaty of the Pyrenees
The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed to end the 1635 to 1659 war between France and Spain, a war that was initially a part of the wider Thirty Years' War. It was signed on Pheasant Island, a river island on the border between the two countries...

 which effectively partitioned Catalonia as the northern strip of the March came under French rule, while the rest remained under Spanish hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

. The Catalan government took sides for the Habsburg pretender against the Bourbon one during the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

 that started in 1705AD and ended in 1714AD. The Catalan failure to defend the perpetuation of Habsburg dynasty in Spain culminated in the surrender of Barcelona on September 11, 1714AD, which came to be commemorated as Catalonia's national day
National Day of Catalonia
On September 11, Catalonia commemorates the 1714 Siege of Barcelona defeat during the War of the Spanish Succession. As correction for their support to the claim of Habsburg Archduke Charles to the throne of Spain, institutions and rights of the territories of the Crown of Aragon were abolished by...

.

During the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, much of Catalonia was seized by French forces by 1808 as France ruled the entire region briefly until Napoleon's surrender to Allied Armies. In France, strong assimilationist policies integrated many Catalans into French society, while in Spain a Catalan identity was increasingly suppressed in favor of a national identity. The Catalans regained autonomy during the Spanish Second Republic from 1932 until Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's nationalist forces retook Catalonia by 1939. It was not until 1975 and the death of Franco that the Catalans began to regain their right to cultural expression, which was restarted by the Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978
-Structure of the State:The Constitution recognizes the existence of nationalities and regions . Preliminary Title As a result, Spain is now composed entirely of 17 Autonomous Communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy, to the extent that, even though the Constitution...

. Since this period, a balance between a sense of local identity versus the broader Spanish one has emerged as the dominant political force in Catalonia. The former tends to advocate for even greater autonomy and/or independence; the latter tends to argue for maintaining the status quo. As a result, there tends to be much fluctuation depending on regional and national politics during a given election cycle. Given the stronger centralist tendencies in France, however, French Catalans display a much less dynamic sense of uniqueness, having been integrated more consistently into the unitary French national identity.

Geography

The vast majority of Catalans reside in the autonomous community of Catalonia, within Spain. At least 100,000 Catalan speakers live in the pays catalan in France. An indeterminate number of Catalans emigrated to other countries during the Spanish colonial period
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 and in the years following the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

.

Culture and society

Described by author Walter Starkie
Walter Starkie
Walter Fitzwilliam Starkie CMG, CBE, Litt.D was an Irish scholar, Hispanist, author and musician.Born in Killiney, County Dublin, he was the eldest son of the noted Greek scholar and translator of Aristophanes, William Joseph Myles Starkie and May Caroline Walsh. Starkie grew up surrounded by...

 in The Road to Santiago as a subtle people, he sums up their national character with a local term seny meaning "common sense" or a pragmatic attitude towards life. The masia or mas is a defining characteristic of the Catalonian countryside and includes a large house, land, cattle, and an extended family, but this tradition is in decline as the nuclear family has largely replaced the extended family, as in the rest of western Europe. Catalans in Spain are recognised as a "nationality" and enjoy a high degree of political autonomy, leading to reinforcement of a Catalan identity.

Language

The Catalan language
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 is a Romance language of the Gallo-Iberian
Gallo-Iberian
- Gallo-Italic languages :* Gallo-Italic group ** Piedmontese** Ligurian** Lombard*** Western Lombard*** Eastern Lombard** Emiliano-Romagnolo*** Emiliano*** Romagnolo**Gallo-Italic of Sicily...

 group. It is the language closest to Occitan, as well as sharing many features with other Western Romance languages
Western Romance languages
The Western Romance languages are one of the primary subdivisions of the Romance languages. They include at least the following:* The Pyrenean–Mozarabic group consists of two languages in two separate branches:**Aragonese**Mozarabic...

 such as Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 and Aragonese
Aragonese language
Aragonese is a Romance language now spoken in a number of local varieties by between 10,000 and 30,000 people over the valleys of the Aragón River, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza in Aragon, Spain...

. There are a number of linguistic varieties that are considered dialects of Catalan; among them, the dialect group with the most speakers, Central Catalan
Central Catalan
Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

.

The number of Catalan speakers is over 7 million, but very few Catalan monoglots exist; basically, virtually all of the Catalan speakers in Spain are bilingual speakers of Catalan and Spanish, with a sizeable population of Spanish-only speakers of immigrant origin (typically born outside Catalonia or with both parents born outside Catalonia) existing in the major Catalan urban areas as well. In the Roussillon, nowadays only a minority of the French Catalans do speak Catalan, with French being the majority language for the inhabitants after a continued process of language shift
Language shift
Language shift, sometimes referred to as language transfer or language replacement or assimilation, is the progressive process whereby a speech community of a language shifts to speaking another language. The rate of assimilation is the percentage of individuals with a given mother tongue who speak...

.

The inhabitants of the Aran valley count Aranese –an Occitan dialect– rather than Catalan as their own language. These Catalans are also bilingual in Spanish.

In September 2005, the .cat
.cat
.cat is a sponsored top-level domain intended to be used to highlight the Catalan language and culture. Its policy has been developed by ICANN and Fundació puntCAT...

 TLD, the first Internet language-based top-level domain, was approved for all webpages intending to serve the needs of the Catalan linguistic and cultural community on the Internet. This community is made up of those who use the Catalan language for their online communications or promote the different aspects of Catalan culture online.

Traditional clothes

The traditional clothes (now, practically only used in folkloric celebrations) included the barretina
Barretina
A barretina is a traditional hat that was frequently worn by men in parts of the Christian cultures of the Mediterranean sea such as Catalonia, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, Provence, Corsica, Sicily, Sardinia, part of Naples, part of the Balkans and parts of Portugal.In Catalonia...

(a sort of long woollen long cap usually red or purple color) and the faixa (a sort of wide belt) among men, and ret (a fine net bag to contain hair) among women. The traditional footwear was the espardenya or espadrille.

Traditional diet

The Catalan diet is part of the Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of southern Italy, Crete and much of the rest of Greece in the 1960s....

 and includes the use of olive oil
Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive , a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps...

. Catalan people like to eat veal (vedella) and lamb (xai).

There are three main daily meals:
  • In the morning: a very light breakfast, consisting of fruit or fruit juice, milk, coffee, or pa amb tomàquet
    Pa amb tomaquet
    Pa amb tomàquet or pa amb oli is a simple and typical recipe in Catalonia, Majorca, the Land of Valencia and in some other places that were at some point under the domain of the Crown of Aragon, such as Italy and Malta.Pa amb tomàquet or pa amb oli consists of bread — optionally toasted — with...

    "bread with tomato". Catalans tend to divide their breakfast into two parts: one early in the morning before going to work or study (first breakfast), and the other one between 10:00 and 12:00 (second breakfast).
  • In the afternoon (roughly from 13:00 to 14:30): the main meal of the day, usually comprising three dishes. The first consists of pasta or vegetables, the second of meat or fish and the third of fruit or yogurt.
  • In the evening (roughly from 20:00 to 22:30): more food than in the morning but less than at lunch. Very often only a single main dish and fruit. It is common to drink moderate quantities of wine.


In Catalan gastronomy, embotits (a wide variety of Catalan sausages and cold meats) are very important; these are pork sausages such as botifarra
Botifarra
Botifarra is a type of sausage and one of the most important dishes of the Catalan cuisine.It comes in different versions, some of the most representative are:...

or fuet
Fuet
Fuet is a Catalan thin, cured, dry sausage of pork meat in a pork gut. The most famous is made in the comarca of Osona and is also known as Vic fuet . Other places that have long tradition of making it are the city of Olot and the surrounding zones....

. In the past, bread (similar to French bread) figured heavily in the Catalan diet; now it is used mainly in the morning (second breakfast, especially among young students and some workers) and supplements the noon meal, at home and in restaurants. Bread is still popular among Catalans; some Catalan fast-food restaurants don't serve hamburgers but offer a wide variety of sandwiches.

In the past, the poor ate soup
Soup
Soup is a generally warm food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.Traditionally,...

 every day and rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 on Thursday and Sunday.

The discipline of abstinence, not eating meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

 during Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

, was once very strong but has practically disappeared in the 20th century.

Spicy food is rare in the Catalan diet, but there are quite garlicky sauces such as allioli
Aioli
Aioli ) is a traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and egg. There are many variations, such as the addition of mustard or, in Catalonia, pears. It is usually served at room temperature. The name aioli comes from Provençal alh 'garlic' is a traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil,...

or romesco
Romesco
Romesco is a sauce originating in Tarragona that is typically made from almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive oil and nyora peppers, a smaller, sweet, dried variety of red bell pepper. Other common ingredients include roasted tomatoes, red wine vinegar and onion...

.

Traditional dishes

One type of Catalan dish is escudella
Escudella
Escudella is a Catalan stew.It is characterized by the use of sausages called botifarra or pieces of meat spiced with peppers.Additionally, beans, potatoes, and cabbage, as as other types of meat, can be used....

soup which contains chick peas, potatoes, and vegetables such as green cabbage, celery, carrots, turnips, and meats like botifarra (a Catalan sausage), pork feet, salted ham, chicken, and veal. In Northern Catalonia, it is sometimes called ollada.

Other Catalan dishes are calçots (similar to leek
Leek
The leek, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum , also sometimes known as Allium porrum, is a vegetable which belongs, along with the onion and garlic, to family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Allioideae...

s and often eaten with a romesco sauce) and escalivada
Escalivada
Escalivada is a typical preparation of Catalan cuisine that consists of several types of grilled vegetables, such as eggplants , sweet red peppers , red tomatoes , and sweet onions...

.

Music

Catalan music has one of the oldest documented musical traditions in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.

Religion

The majority of Catalans are of the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 tradition.

Social conditions

Catalonia is one of the richest and most well developed regions in Southern Europe
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

. Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 is among the most industrialized metropolis and is both a regional capital and a magnet for various migrants from other regions in Spain as well as from foreign countries.

Identity and nationalism

Due to the continued identification with a distinct identity, many Catalans support Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

 or Catalan independentism
Catalan independentism
Catalan independentism is a political movement, derived from Catalan nationalism, which supports the independence of Catalonia or the so-called Catalan countries from Spain and France...

 in Spain. This is only seen to a much lesser extent in France.

Nonetheless, there are many Catalans for whom the Catalan identity is not viewed as necessarily being mutually exclusive with the Spanish one. In contrast, the situation in France has been sharply different as French policies have completed a more thorough assimilation of the French Catalans into the French Republic.

See also

  • Catalonia
    Catalonia
    Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

  • History of Catalonia
    History of Catalonia
    The territory that now constitutes the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain, and the adjoining Catalan region of France, was first settled during the Middle Palaeolithic...

  • Catalan myths and legends
    Catalan myths and legends
    Catalan myths and legends are the traditional myths and legends of the Catalan-speaking world, especially Catalonia itself, passed down for generations as part of that region's popular culture.Among the figures of Catalan mythology are:*Aloja...

  • Nationalities of Spain
    Nationalities of Spain
    Nationalities of Spain can refer to:*A Spanish constitutional designation of certain subnational political entities *Spaniards, as a people from Spain.*A member of a foreign nationality living in Spain....

  • Òmnium Cultural
    Òmnium Cultural
    Òmnium Cultural is a cultural association based in Barcelona . It was originally created to promote the Catalan language and spread Catalan culture....

  • Spanish people
    Spanish people
    The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....


Online references

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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