Published on September 20, 2011 | by Andrea Guerriero0
Fiestas del Pilar in Zaragoza – full week of festivities
As for all Spanish cities, even in Zaragoza you can breathe passion and true devotion for parties and celebrations. Zaragoza’s cultural panorama is very rich: amid local and national events and festivities it seems that the city is virtually always in the party. Las uvas de Nochevieja (New Year’s grapes) in December 31st, the Carnival in February, the Fiestas de Primavera in May, and a series of festivals dedicated to music as the Grandes Conciertos de Otoño or the International Piano Competition Pilar Bayona. And the list goes on…
Nonetheless, in Zaragoza very important are the Pilar Fiestas, which take place in the nine days around October 12: a full week of festivities, lived in a very intense way by locals.
The Basilica of Nuestra Senora del Pilar is one of the most important places of worship in Spain, whose patron is the Virgin of Pilar. Every year, millions of pilgrims come to Zaragoza to venerate the image of the Virgin of Pilar preserved in the Basilica’s chapel.
The story goes that the Basilica is located in the place where Our Lady appeared to the Apostle Santiago, brother of St. John. Here the apostle used to meet with the first converts to Christianity, right where a Pilar was erected, i.e. a column on which the Virgin appeared, and which later gave its name to the basilica and the image stored in it.
The Pilar Fiestas last for nine days, around October 12, that is the day of the feast of La Virgen del Pilar. This year it will be held from October 8 to 16. And as every year, on October 12 a great Floral Offering (Ofrenda de Flores) will take place from early in the morning: thousands of people from all over the world, dressed in traditional costumes, come to Plaza del Pilar Square to leave flowers before the Virgin. The day after, there will be the Offering of Fruit. And at dusk, the Rosario de Cristal will take place, a procession of carriages and glass lanterns that runs through the streets of Zaragoza.
Do not miss the “Cabezudos Y Gigantes” parades, and the many rock and jazz music concerts that will be held almost everywhere.
In addition to celebrating this beautiful and meaningful festival, in Zaragoza you can also enjoy all the historical and cultural attractions that the city has to offer, in addition to an amusing nightlife, the typical movida of all Spanish cities. Most of the nightspots are located in the historical centre, called Casco Viejo. A large number of pubs and discos await you, as well as small venues and typical restaurants. The night is spent moving from place to place, so many people in the street with beer in hand, chatting and smiling, cheerful music in the air.
Photo by hermenpaca