All posts filed under: tradition and holiday

Spontaneous vacation — I took a flight to Ibiza

Four months on the Costa Brava – the light blue sea on your doorstep, impressive cities and beaches just next door, summer temperature on a daily basis, nothing but fantastic views of beautiful landscapes and endless possibilities to do something unforgettable.

 

 

What could be missing? Now and then a short trip to other Spanish regions! There are plenty of possibilities to explore the country and many places can easily be reached from Barcelona. This is why I decided to spend an unforgettable weekend in Ibiza! I’d love to tell you everything about it..

 

 

SHOPPING IN IBIZA CITY

Just got out of the plane, inhaled the fresh Ibiza air and there they are: my friends are welcoming me to the beautiful island: We’re more than happy about the reunion! Big plans were made for these 3 days together – from now on, we won’t waste any time.

Ibiza - Port - Party

The harbour of Ibiza and the shopping streets next door!

First item on our agenda: Shopping in Ibiza city! Only 2 minutes are necessary to reach the shopping paradise from the harbour. Once arrived, you won’t be able to leave without buying way too many things: Ibiza city offers numerous fashion stores, boutiques, souvenir shops and much more. I guess I won’t be able to resist either..

IT’S POOL TIME!

Sun Ibiza Summer Perfect

The perfect place to enjoy the sun!

 

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the fantastic pool with views to the sea! What more could you ask for? Our motto for the rest of the day: Put our bikinis on and jump into the cool water! After hours of sunbathing and swimming, the first day in Ibiza comes to an end. What’s still missing? Exactly: “One night in Ibiza!“

 

 

PARTY – PLAYA D’EN BOSSA

And off we go to the nightlife district, the Playa d’en Bossa, which welcomes us with a free round of shots! Couldn’t it always be like that? From bar to bar, the level of fun and alcohol is rising – sober? Not in Ibiza! The bars are crowded with people and the good mood is spreading – we wanna party!

Ibiza offers numerous clubs to suit every taste – the most popular of course: the USHUAÏA. The greatest DJs in the world guarantee a once in a lifetime party experience. To a night we’ll never forget!

Clubbing Ibiza Ushuaia

Definitely one of the best clubs in the world!

SUNSET ON THE BEACH – CALA COMTE

After a night like this, there’s only one absolute priority: Sleeping. And bathing in the sun. And sleeping more.
Just kidding: it’s beach day! Destination: Cala Comte. Definitely one of the most beautiful beaches of Ibiza: Crystal clear water and breathtaking views of the small islands just off the coast. Also one of the most popular spots to enjoy the impressive colours of the sunset. Very romantic.

The later it gets, the more people arrive to say goodbye to the sun: They clap, whistle and cheer – what a wonderful atmosphere! Something you will probably only experience in Ibiza.

Breathtaking views.. even without the sun!

COCKTAILS – BAR KM5

Our next stop: A very special and glamorous bar called KM5, which impresses with a stylish and luxurious atmosphere. Actually, the term bar does not really do justice to the KM5: Not only does it have an open-air area, but also a restaurant, a club and an own boutique.

Cozy, isn’t it? 🙂

 

We decide to pick a nice spot in the outside area next to a radiant heater and enjoy the evening snuggled up in a brown leather couch and drinking delicious cocktails. Later, two women dressed in white come by to offer us a head massage – made us feel like queens!
Following the motto: „I’ll have one glass or two or three..“, the second evening ends very comfortably.

 

 

CALA D’HORT – RESTAURANT EL CARMEN

On my last day in Ibiza, we decide to enjoy the wonderful weather on the beach Cala D’Hort: as well one of the most beautiful beaches, including a unique view to the magical rock “Es Vedra”.

The magnificent weather makes it quite easy to forget about the time. Oh, it’s already this late? Time to head to the restaurant El Carmen, which is located less than 10 steps from the sandy beach. With an excellent paella and views to the sea, we say goodbye to Ibiza.

Spanish food - Ibiza Restaurant

The Spanish cuisine – nobody could ever resist ..

After that, we make our way to the airport. An incredible weekend that I will definitely never forget: Viva Ibiza!

Traditionally dressed brotherhood with drums

Easter in Catalonia: religion, tolerance and big fuss

Spring is here and Easter is just around the corner. Easter in Catalonia means celebrating light and darkness – with music, colours and big emotions. An event for all senses, between grief, tradition, spookiness and party. Easter (Semana Santa in Spanish) is the most important and oldest feast of the Christians. The Resurrection of Christ symbolizes the victory of life over death. On Good Friday, catholics and protestants remember the crucifixion of Jesus. The Easter processions take place during the night in many towns in Spain.

Dancing skeletons at midnight

The hooded figures may make you shudder when walking through the medieval streets of Girona during Easter time. Especially in Verges, in the hinterland of the Costa Brava, it can get very spooky on Maundy Thursday, at midnight. There, people come together for one of the country’s oldest processions, the Dance of Death, first documented in 1666. Every year, in the flickering light of torches, this bizarre formation walks through the streets of Verges, around midnight. Five skeletons are dancing to the rhythm of the kettledrum. People seem very interested. Afterwards, there is a big party. All night long the bars and pubs are overcrowded.

Dancing skeletons

The procession of the “Danza de la Muerte” indeed seems a little bit spooky.

The magic of the night

Everywhere in Spain, the ritual of the penitents is like the amen in the church. Eternal damnation? Atonement without any words? Doing penance with powerful images? As a traditional celebration or today’s reality? The processions of Semana Santa definitely raise some questions. Impressive but scary, fascinating and mysterious at the same time, the magic of the processions stays undenied. Darkness and light. Medieval sceneries. A crowd full of expectation. Powerful images.

Cofradía Semana Santa

Every now and then, you get to recognize children underneath the cowls participating in the Easter processions.

Saints as superstars

Paso (huge statues of saints on an altar, carried by people of different brotherhoods) for paso is passing us every year. The procession is headed by the Crucified, followed by the Virgin Mary. The life-sized figures are framed by a magnificent floral decoration. A floral scent mixed with incense is tickling our noses. People are filming and taking photographs. In the age of Instagram and Facebook, the whole world can watch the saints leaving the churches and taking a bath in the crowd. The digitalized saints seem like superstars. Until today, the processions of Semana Santa are an expressionist event you have to part of. Sadness and desperation together with enjoyment and happiness, emotions have never been closer. Even tough you might not believe in redemption and resurrection, now you get an idea of eternity.

Jesus statue

The huge Saint statues are often beautifully decorated with flowers in all imaginable colours.

Tradition and party

In Girona, the doors of the cathedral’s mighty portal open at 10 pm. Slowly, the hooded figures, organized by the corresponding colours of their brotherhoods, are walking down the stairs towards the big square in front of the cathedral. Here, the procession will start with the shouldering of the pasos. After all, Semana Santa is not a deadly serious matter of faith. The big crowd formed by curious onlookers is in a good mood. Semana Santa is also a street party. Bars and cafés are busy, people are celebrating. You need to be lucky to find a free table. It is already past midnight when we get our first glass of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine). Salud, cheers and happy Easter!

Purple capes of Semana Santa

During the processions of Semana Santa you can watch different brotherhoods with their colourful traditional costumes.

Curious people in Girona

During the Easter processions, the Rambla in Girona gets filled with hundreds of curious people.

Christmas sweets

Can you imagine the best time of the year without any Christmas treats? Me neither!
A few weeks before Christmas Eve, we fill our shopping trolleys with flour, sugar and eggs and unpack the cookie cutters. With the most colourful cookie recipes, we dulcify the cold season and keep us warm with some extra kilos.
Our favourites this year: Cinnamon stars, panellets and butter biscuits – Hungry? Then let yourself be inspired by our recipes.
Enjoy your cookies!
The Costa Live Team
PS: We can still work on our summer body next year 😉

 

Cinnamon Stars

250g ground almond
200g icing sugar
2 egg whites
2-3 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preparation
Beat the egg whites until peaks form.  Add the powdered sugar and the cinnamon. Beat for another minute. Reserve 3-4 heaping tablespoons of the egg mixture in a small bowl for the frosting. Add the nuts and the vanilla sugar. Beat until the mixture is combined and comes together in a fairly stiff but pliable mass.

Sprinkle a non-stick surface with powdered sugar or ground almond and roll it to a width of about a 1/3 inch. Cut stars out of the dough and transfer them to a lined cookie sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush on the egg white mixture. Bake in an oven preheated to 150 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

 

Panellets

1 sweet potato
250 g almond flour
250 g sugar
grated lemon rind
2 egg whites
1 egg
200 g pine nuts / alternatively coconut flakes or sunflower seeds

Preparation
Roast the sweet potato. Peel and push through a food mill.
While hot, add the ground almonds, the sugar and the lemon rind. Mix well to blend all the ingredients together. Place in a covered bowl and leave to stand in the fridge for a few hours.
Sugar - sweets - christmas - deliciousForm balls of about 25 grams, dip in diluted egg white and then in the pine nuts, pressing lightly so they stick. Arrange on an oven tray, brush with beaten egg and bake in a hot oven for about ten minutes. Once cooked, leave to cool and store in an airtight container.

 

Butter biscuits 

Ingredients:
500 g flour
200 g sugar
1 package of vanilla sugar
350 g butter
2 egg yolks
1 egg
grated lemon zest
1 pinch of salt

Preparation
Put the flour in a bowl and add the sugar and vanilla sugar and mix. Add butter, egg yolk, egg, lemon zest and salt and mix into a stiff dough. Knead gently until dough is smooth. Put the dough into a covered bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Roll out onto a floured surface and cut out biscuits. Place on baking tray covered with baking paper. Brush with egg yolk and decorate. Place in oven at 175° C for about 10-12 minutes.

Winter - Christmas - Baking - Sweets - Delicious

Merry Christmas!

Pink rockstars in Roses

Carnival in Roses 2017: colourful, loud, cheerful

Hot rhythms and tight costumes

Samba and hot disco rhythms, that is the motto of carnival at the Costa Brava.
People are having wild parties in Roses, L’Escala, Empuriabrava, Platja d’Aro and other places along the coast of Catalonia.

Dancing all night long

Rising temperatures make it easy to have a street party while dressed in short costumes. Salsa rhythms are roaring from the decorated carriages. At the promenade, people are in party mood. Garishly dressed, people are dancing all night long.

Dancing in the street

In Roses, people know how to make party.

The beat booms far out to the sea

Golden knights waiting for their battles, coloured masks laughing into the crowd: the beat is roaring over the sea. People applaud when  the festive carriages, going from Plaça Catalunya to Plaça Frederic Rahola, pass by. There is a lot of dancing, flirting and singing going on.

Gentlemen of Freixenet

The noble guys from Freixenet know too how to celebrate.

The square in front of the harbour

This year, there have been 62 creatively decorated carriages and lots of marvellous costumes to admire. The mayoress gave the keys of the town to king carnival, who would be in charge for the town during carnival time. At the end of carnival, on Monday before Lent, she got back the keys and power.

Lions partying at carnival

A little party never killed nobody.

Funeral of the sardine

The end of carnival is near when weirdly dressed figures wander through the town of Roses on Monday before Lent (in other parts of Spain this would be Ash Wednesday). After the funeral of the sardine, carnival is officially over. There is big fireworks when the locals set fire to the sardine. In some places, the burning sardine gets carried to the open sea. The legend says that something has to be destroyed for something new to arise…

Partying dragon in Roses

The last party people are walking through the town.

This unique tradition has many explanations:

1. The custom is supposed to originate from 19th-century Madrid. At Ash Wednesday, Lent starts. The townspeople went to the countryside, in order to symbolically bury something. Because during Lent they did not consume any meat, they buried pork ribs, which were called “cerdina“. Over time, while passing on the legend, some mistake happened and “cerdina“ turned into “sardina“ – sardine.

2. In the 19th century, a group of students organized a funeral procession, in order to celebrate carnival one more time and symbolically start Lent.

3. King Charles III. of Spain (1716 – 1788) prohibited to eat meat at Ash Wednesday, instead people were supposed to eat sardines. At Ash Wednesday, temperatures were unusually rising and it got too hot for the sardines and they turned inedible. The smell was unbearable. Therefore, they organized a funeral. This spontaneous procession then became tradition and a party.

4. Other legends tell that the sacrificial offering was part of praying for a large fishing.

Nowadays, it is impossible to truly discover the origin of this tradition. The only certain thing is that the custom terminates carnival with big fuss, before starting again next year.

Some goodies for Christmas

Shops, bakeries and Christmas markets are fulfilled by a seductive fragrance! Delicious cookies sweeten the time until Christmas Eve in every year. The tradition of baking for festivals goes back to pre-Christian times. Cookies “flat-shaped cakes” – are probably the most popular Christmas sweets. Whether outrivaled, modelling, splattering, manually – decorated or pure – the main intention 2015 is called homemade. 

The short pastry is diverse and offers, next to gingerbread, stollen and Co., one of the tastiest delights of the year. We put together some of our favorites and didn’t want to give up a German classic.

Vanilla croissant: sweet goodie of shortcrust

ingredients for a normal portion

  • 300g flour
  • 200g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 100g powdered almond
  • 1 yellow of an egg

for decorating: vanilla- and sugar powder

Mixing flour and butter to a dough. Add sugar and almonds. Quickly add the yellow of the egg and knead the mass. Now put the dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Afterwards form the cold dough as half moons (like croissants) and spread them on a baking tray with baking paper. Meanwhile, preheat the oven and cake the croissants at 150°C until they turn golden yellow. Mixing the sugar powder and vanilla sugar to rotate the fresh croissants in it.

Another option is to add some dried fruits- such as cranberries- to the dough to get a more fruity taste.

Cinnamon stars 

  • 190g sugar powder
  • 100g powdered almond
  • 200g powdered nuts
  • 2 white of egg
  • 1 ts cinnamon
  • some lemon juice

Whisk the white of egg and sugar powder stiff into an icing. Put apart about 1/3 of the rest. Mix the remaining icing with the other ingredients (but initially only 100g nuts). Important, do not fold in with an eggbeater but with a spoon. Knead everything. Arrange the remaining nuts on a baking sheet, place the rolled dough (nearly 8-10cm) on it and cut out some star. Put the stars on a baking sheet with baking paper and generously coat them with the remaining icing. Now cake them for about 10-12 minutes at 150°C.

Homemade hot spiced wine

  • 750ml white wine dry
  • 750ml Rosé
  • 1500ml red wine dry
  • 300g sugar
  • respectively 1 untreated lemon and orange
  • 2 bars of cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 star anise

Put all the different types of wine in a large pot and warm them slowly. Important, do not cook the wine! Cut lemon and orange into slices. Add lemon, orange and spices to the wine. Put in the sugar little by little.

Spirits such as Cointreau, brown Rum or Amaretto give a special flavor to the wine.

Semana Santa – Easter in Spain

Images, emotions, incense

Pictures provoke emotions. Pictures are catchy. Pictures are powerful messages.
The media’s flood of images increases over the years and nearly turns into the Flood. Those among you, who like live images or taking a selfie in front of an imposing scenery, must not miss the Semana Santa (Eastern) in Spain.

Verges Easterprozession Spain
The rulers of the Catholic Church have been operating with picture language since the 16th century and invented “preaching through pictures“ by introducing the Easter processions. Those who could not read or write were converted by moving images and touching sceneries. Although most of today’s visitors are able to read, rousing pictures accompanied by drum roll and choral singings, surrounded by a tiny breath of incense, still move the crowds the most. Every year, hounders of processions to do penance attract their visitors to come and so they do in Catalonia. Even famous dignitaries hide under their tapered hoods. Being a member of brotherhoods (Confraries) is an honor and can only be passed on to somebody.

Castello d'Empuries setamana santa
The motto is not only “repentance“ but also love and hope, humanity and compassion are topics which the processions dedicate themselves to. After having marched for miles, people then dance, laugh, and celebrate within the streets. Mysticism and religion go along with cheerful exuberance. Restaurants and bars are opened in many villages until late into the night. Even the Easter procession in Girona no more appears like a gloomy story from the Middle Ages but like a big baroque fair.

Eastern in Spain
The beautiful Madonna carved out of wood and decorated with a magnificent floral decoration appears at night and is the superstar. Being the Christian Virgin, the Goddess, and the heavenly beauty queen, she is the centre of the frenzy of flashing cameras. The „Paso de Christo“ glides through the fascinated crowd, carried unsteadily by strong men.
The mysticism of the scenery – Girona’s beautiful old town being the perfect backdrop – is an experience for your senses which you definitely should not miss.

Verges holy maria Costa Brava

On Maundy Thursday, all bars in Verges are opened throughout the night. The spot vibrates. The dance of death called “Dansa de la mort“ takes place in this medieval spot, located between Figueres and La Bisbal. (www.laprocesso.com) The spectacle dates back to 1666 and catches the visitor’s fascination every year. First, scenes of the Passion of Christ are reconstructed on the market square at 10 pm. At midnight, the crowd forms up into a procession through the small alleys of Verges, led by people dressed like skeletons. Dropping candle wax marks the path. This bizarre spectacle, accompanied by the rhythm of drums, is considered to be one of the most eldest manifestations of church art. Muffled drumbeats, the rattling of chains, strokes of a whip and many visitors characterize the scenery. The backdrop, being the medieval façades of the spot, emphasizes the drama. But even here, people are going to celebrate later on. In the garden of Mas Pi, located in the old town, they will have a drink together.

Pessebres Viventes – Living Cribs

Every year around Christmas time, committed inhabitants of historic medieval villages come together – the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren of the cobbler, the hairdresser, the potter or the carpenter. They have fished out the antique tools of their ancestors from sheds and broom closets and are now assembling in courtyards, alleys, and public places to form living pictures. In Báscara, Castelló, Pals, Peralada, and at many other places workshops, markets, and the birth of Jesus become alive. “Pessebres Viventes““Living Cribs“ are tradition in Catalonia and so nearly every village is filled with new life around the Christmas period.

Living Cribs sometimes only take place on one evening but mostly on every holiday. Families and guests will join together being actors or visitors then. One can hear children laughing mixed with the cackle of ducks and chicken, being interrupted by hammering noises coming from imaginary workshops, shrouded in the smoke coming from old chimneys, and lighted up by tiny campfires and the light of torches in the wind. This is the picturesque and colourful scenery which every year creates the right feeling of Christmas – the feeling that Catalonia is on a travel through time back to the birth of Jesus Christ.

In the hinterland of the Costa Brava, in Báscara, you get one of the most impressive stagings. Here, more than 300 amateur actors annually transfer their visitors back to the Palestine of more than 2000 years ago. This crib performance takes place in the medieval alleys and ruins of the municipality since 1973.The living pictures in the midst of the beautiful landscape and on the bank of the river Fluvià, in front of the backdrop of innumerable rocks, springs, and waterfalls are nearly film material.

One crib figure with naked bottom causes serious amazement among non-initiated visitors here in Báscara and at other places. This is probably because you can only find this in Catalonia: Someone pulls down his trousers and puts a stinking poop close to the Christ child and the crib, in the midst of the most beautiful photo motive. If you now assume a new type of joke, you are wrong. This strange happening is a fixed crib ceremonial since the age of baroque. 
The small Caganer – “the crapper“ is considered to be a lucky charm and reflects the Catalan mentality – blithely indifferent to the holy and rather thinking practically of fertilizing the fields and of having a great harvest afterwards. 
If you are looking for the individual lucky charm for 2015 to give for Christmas, you will be spoilt for choice. Football stars, politicians, characters of films, as well as Queen Leticia with naked bottom are available for 16€ onward. The incredible beststeller of the year 2014 is the Pope.

In all holiness we wish you a Merry Christmas and the perfect start into the New Year 2015.

Caganer-Bascara

Christmas Baking – Recipes

Who of us didn’t have the childish anticipation of Christmas, the feeling of butterflies in the stomach when hearing the bell ringing and knowing that the Christ child had come? Who of us coulnd’t wait the door to the living room to be opened and to get access to the Christmas tree, loaded with presents?
This excitement might be fading away over the years but there are many possibilities to get in the right mood for Christmas and to regain a certain kind of anticipation.


There is a current trend towards handmade presents and this is why this year home-made biscuits with almond splits and chocolate or sugar icing can’t be missing at the advent café with the family or friends.
The tradition of having Christmas biscuits goes back to the time before Jesus Christ was born. Back then, winter solstice was celebrated and the people baked so-called “breads for sacrifice“ which they hung up on threads or threw into rivers to frighten evil spirits or demons. According to this Christian tradition, Christmas breads – today’s Christmas cakes – were brought to life. As these cakes were expensive to produce and only wealthy families were able to allow themselves this luxury, people began to bake “small breads“ from which our Christmas biscuits have arisen.

bag-of-biscuits-selected-property

Today, we enjoy Christmas biscuits when drinking tea or coffee or we give them away in little bags, decorated with colourful ribbons or nameplates. Home-made biscuits always are a highlight during the Christmas period and since the 19th century, they are a fixed element of our banquet table.

We are going to share two biscuit recipes from Costa Live’s Christmas baking so that these little delicacies are not missing at your home.

Almond Shortbread

Ingredients:
125 g margarine
125 g icing sugar
2 packets of vanillin sugar
a pinch of salt
100 g flour
100 g oat flakes
100 g ground almonds
100 g almonds without shell
1/2 cup of milk

Beat margarine, icing sugar, vanillin sugar, and salt until it is frothy, then stir in flour, oat flakes, and ground almonds until the mixtures become a smooth dough. Form two rolls of dough and cut off little pieces. Place these pieces on a baking tray, dip the almonds without shell into the milk and place them onto the pieces. Bake it on the middle rack at 175 C for 12-15 minutes.

A kiss from a nut

Ingredients:
2 whites of an egg
125 g sugar
125 g ground hazelnuts
hazelnuts for garnishing

Whisk the egg whites with the sugar until stiff, then take two soupspoons off the mixture. Carefully fold in the ground hazelnuts and form small balls out of it. Press in a small hole and fill in the stiff egg white and put a hazelnut on each ball as a garnish. Bake it at 140-160 C for 20-25 minutes.

Some biscuits bags are waiting for being eaten – so come into our office at Empuriabrava and help them!

Almond-Shortbread

We wish you a Merry Christmas

Christmas is Just Around the Corner

Spending long nights full of candlelight and having a glass of velvety wine at the open fire – Christmas is a festival of touching the senses and every year, it takes the romantic out of us again. We indulge ourselves in sentimental Christmas decoration, we are surrounded by the smell of delicious glühwein and biscuits.

Angel-Decoration-bowl-fir-cone

This year, following the current trend, our ideas for your decoration come right out of nature. Reddishly shining pomegranates, nicely smelling walnuts, cones of stone pine and cypress, moss or dried berries and twigs, wrapped up with wickerwork are staged with candles, glittering baubles in colours of copper, apricot, and berry.


Door wreaths are made of walnuts or cones, accompanied by finds from the sea or by twigs and dried plants from the forest or field – there are no limits to the imagination. 
With colours of silver, gold, and copper one can spray some little highlights on the bricolage. Gleaming and colourful ribbons or golden tinsel put an emphasize on the topic of Christmas.

The Advent calendar has been invented for those who are grumpy in the morning and need to get up easier in the pre-Christmas period. A self-made one always is a special proof of love. One might sew little bags out of remnants, for example, and put in sweets, key fobs, jewellery, and useful little things combined with kind sayings. At the end, one can bind the bags mixed up on a branch or an Advent wreath, paint the 24 numbers on them and the very individual surprise of pre-Christmas is ready to be given to your beloved one.

If you don’t have any sewing machine or remnants at home, also paper bags or small packs can be packed and wildly be hung up on a line. We guarantee that this special Advent calendar will be remembered as a highlight of pre-Christmas for a long time.

Candles-Glasses-wine-leaves

We wish you a Merry Christmas within your family circle

Catalan national flag.

A sign of solidarity – Catalonias human chain at the 11th September

It‘s already 1 1/2 months ago that I left Germany and I pubslished my first article in the Costa Live Magazine Blog a few days after my arrival. It was a text about the Paella eating, Sangria drinking Spanish, the prude Germans and other clischees. Prompt received the editorial staff a mail, which pointed out friendly, that it wasn‘t actually Spain where I was, it was Catalonia – and it took the wind out of my sails. Of course did I know, that the country I was traveling to was called Catalonia and I also knew that it wouldn‘t be easy to talk to the people in Spanish. However, I have to admit, that I always thought of Catalonia as a part of Spain and it’s not until now, that I start realizing how complex and important the topic is.

The flag of independence.

On Wednesday, the 11th Sepetmber 2013, the Catalan national holiday will be celebrated –  and this year it‘s going to be something special, because it will not only be a sign of solidarity and love for Catalonia. The people want to send out a signal for the independence of the state. It has been a long fight for this independence, but it has also been a peaceful fight. Therefore, people from all over Catalonia are going to join hands on Wednesday – the human chain is expected to be 400 km long, connecting one border with the other, and consisting of more than a million people. What is it about this event?

Typical Catalan celebration.

The requirement for the Catalan independence is not without reason. After the victory of Franco in the Spanish civil war in 1939, the dictator forbade both the Catalan language and the culture. It was not until 1977, that the country could regain a limited autonomy and a provisional government, in 1980 the first free elections were held. Nevertheless, there are still various financial and political bonds, that connect Catalonia with the Spanish government in Madrid – especially in the times of crises a quite controversial topic. The human chain on Wednesday is about the cultural identity of a nation, which was deprived again and again.

The Catalan flag appears everywhere.

After reading a few articles about the upcoming events, it‘s easier for me to understand why some people rather communicate with hands and feet than using the Spanish language and why the Bavarian coach Pep Guadiola, known for phrases like „If we get up early and work hard, we gonna be an unstopable nation.“, is now celebrated as a hero of Catalonia. There‘s even going to be a little human chain in my hometown Berlin, at 17.00 o‘clock at the Gendarmenmarkt. Altough I dread to take position to such a complex topic, I hereby apologize for all the misunderstandings and bricks, I‘ve droped in so far – this are probably the most significant identity feature of a German person in a foreign counrty.