Day Of The Valencian Community
In the Valencia region of Spain, October 9th is a day that has a special significance. It’s a day that celebrates the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia — which is the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Spain. Approximately 2.5 million people live in the city and the Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in all of Europe, and the busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea.
This holiday, known as Día de la Comunidad Valenciana in Spanish or Day of the Valencian Community in English, commemorates the anniversary of King James I of Aragon’s capture of the city from Moorish forces during the 13th century.
The History Of The Day of the Valencian Community
Valencia was originally founded by the Romans, but by the 8th century it had fallen to the Moors and it would remain under Moorish control until the 13th century. This is when King James I of Aragon laid siege to Valencia in 1238. The city would remain under siege for approximately 5-months before the Moors surrendered on September 28th.
On October 9th, 1238, King James took control of the city. Approximately 50,000 Moors were then forced to leave and the King granted the city new charters of law. He also instituted changes that would redefine the character of not only the city but the region as well. These would form the current foundations for many of the traditions enjoyed in the region today.
In 1976, the Board of Sindical and Political Forces of the Land of Valencia considered this date as a national holiday in 1976, but it wouldn’t actually become a holiday until 1982. This is the year when it was made an official public holiday.
Observing Day Of The Valencian Community
The most prominent event that occurs on this day is the civic procession that begins in the city and has been held since the Middle Ages. There are also smaller events all across the city, and many people use the day off to visit museums and other cultural institutions.