TODAY celebrates the 22nd year of Gibraltar National Day. Gibraltar Day as it is also known, commemorates the first referendum of 1967, when the people of Gibraltar unanimously voted to remain British and keep hold of their political ties with the United Kingdom.
For the Gibraltarians, it is one of the most important days of the year. Proud of their heritage, they celebrate with street parties and festivities, adorning themselves and the buildings in traditional red and white.
The day begins with a children’s fancy dress competition in the Mackintosh Square where food and drink stalls are arranged, providing Gibraltarian food, and the national dish calentita (a national pancake like dish). Followed by the school choir singing Llévame Donde Nací and Virgencita de Europa. The mayor then awards worthy recipients with The Gibraltar Medallion of Honour award, before reciting the National Day declaration from the City Hall balcony and releasing 30,000 red and white balloons, (a representation of the number of people in Gibraltar) whilst the congregation sing the Gibraltar National Anthem.
Festivities carry on into the evening, with a final ceremony and a half hour-long synchronised fireworks display.