El calendari gastronòmic: culinary nationalism in Catalan festivals
Expressions of Catalan identity have become increasingly significant following increased friction with the Spanish central government. Catalonia-specific foods and festivals are two such expressions that have been mobilised as national symbols, and which I will consider in this paper. I will discuss the role that food plays in festive occasions in the Catalan calendar, including secularised traditional holidays and Catholic feast days, newly created festivals and fairs centred on foods, and finally the three national days (23rd April, 24 June and 11th September). In doing so, I will also tease out other, related themes in Catalan cultural identity today, including the feelings of connectedness with a historic past, land and landscape, the championing of seasonality through culinary events, and Catalonia’s gastronomic calendar. Creating, adapting and performing festivities that are celebrations of national and culinary symbols are a means of celebrating Catalan identity itself. They are events when Catalans meet to discuss and reformulate their identity, and sources of claims to distinctiveness.
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