September 10th is a day no Gibraltarian ever wants to miss, the official National Day and a public holiday, when people dress in the Gibraltar colours of red and white and gather to reinforce their commitment to self-determination and celebrate being part of the unique Gibraltarian community.
It is a day of partying and politics, which is organised by the Self-Determination For Gibraltar Group (SDGG) with the government's Culture ministry, and it marks the anniversary of Gibraltar's first referendum in 1967, when they were asked whether they wanted to pass under Spanish sovereignty or remain under British sovereignty. The number of Union flags on local buildings and being waved by those who gathered in Casemates Square reflect the fact that their decision is just as valid today.
Gibraltarians know how to party in style, so National Day is an all-day event. There were music and dance performances and activities all through the day, and then the political rally took place around 12.30 pm. The rally is always attended by British MPs and MEPs, although this year there were fewer of them because of what was happening in London and also the strike by British Airways pilots.
The day came to an end at 10.30pm with a spectacular firework display from the Detached Mole.