Gibraltar Day observed in Gibraltar
Gibraltar Day, also known as National Day, is a public holiday celebrated in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The day is observed annually on September 10th, commemorating the day in 1967 when the people of Gibraltar participated in a sovereignty referendum to decide whether to remain under British rule or become a part of Spain. The majority of the population voted to stay with Britain, and this day is now celebrated to honor their decision and Gibraltar's unique identity.
Gibraltar Day can be traced back to the first sovereignty referendum held on September 10, 1967. The people of Gibraltar were asked whether they preferred to remain under British rule or become a part of Spain. An overwhelming 99.64% of the population voted in favor of remaining with Britain, solidifying their desire for self-determination and maintaining their British sovereignty. This historical event paved the way for the annual celebrations of Gibraltar Day, symbolizing the pride and unity of the people of Gibraltar.
National customs for Gibraltar Day in Gibraltar
Gibraltar Day is a public holiday in the territory, with most businesses and schools closed for the day. The celebrations typically begin with a ceremony at Casemates Square, where the Chief Minister of Gibraltar delivers a speech, followed by the raising of the Gibraltar flag. Throughout the day, there are various events and activities, including live music performances, cultural exhibitions, and family-friendly events.
One of the main highlights of the day is the release of 30,000 red and white balloons, representing the colors of the Gibraltar flag and the approximate population of the territory. The balloon release is a symbolic gesture of unity and solidarity among the people of Gibraltar. The day concludes with a spectacular fireworks display, which lights up the skies above the Rock of Gibraltar, creating a stunning visual representation of the day's significance.
Local customs for Gibraltar Day in Gibraltar
In addition to the national customs, there are also several local customs and traditions that the people of Gibraltar observe during the celebrations. These include wearing the red and white colors of the Gibraltar flag, as well as displaying flags and banners outside homes and businesses. Many people also attend street parties and local gatherings, where they enjoy traditional Gibraltarian foods, such as calentita and pinchitos, and participate in various games and activities.
Gibraltar Day is a significant event in the territory's calendar, celebrating the proud history and unique identity of the people of Gibraltar. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of self-determination and the strong bond between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom. With a mix of national customs and local traditions, the celebrations showcase the unity, pride, and cultural heritage of the Gibraltarian people.