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Fiestas del Pilar

This annual festival in Zaragoza, Spain celebrates Virgen del Pilar (Virgin Mary of the Pillar) patron saint of the city.

The week-long event begins the weekend of October 12, or the weekend before, and continues through to the following Sunday. The first Mass is the Solemne Misa de Infantes, or Solemn Mass of Infants, celebrated in the Saint Chapel of the Basilica del Pilar, at 4:30am.

The Offering of Flowers

Throughout the day of October 12, thousands of people demonstrate their 
devotion to the Virgin Mary by dressing in traditional costume and leaving flowers at the statue of the Virgin, which has a place of honour in the middle of the Plaza del Pilar. Volunteers arrange the flowers in a pyramidal form, creating a flower mantle around the base of the statue, which remains in the square for the duration of the festival for public viewing. 

The Offering of Fruits

On the morning of the festival's second day, an Offering of Fruits takes place. This tradition began in 1949, a precursor to the Offering of Flowers. A parade of people bring a variety of fruits, primarily from the region of Aragon, to the statue of the Virgin.

The Glass Rosary Parade

Originating in 1889, the Rosario de Cristal consists of 29 parade floats made entirely of glass, known as “faroles” (lamps), all illuminated from within, making for a spectacular light show. Fifteen of the floats represent the mysteries of the rosary, while other floats depict different topics, such as recreations of famous sanctuaries like the Basilica del Pilar, or the Sagrada Familia, as well as other religious and cultural themes. The parade starts at sunset, proceeding from the Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús (Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus), and follows a route around the main streets ending at the city centre.

Other Traditions

The Fiestas del Pilar also features an opening speech by a Town Crier, giant costumed
papier-mâché figures with disproportionately big heads (comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos), a general fair, puppet shows, concerts and am Oktoberfest. The festival concludes with an outdoor concert in Paseo de la Independencia and a firework show at the banks of the river Ebro.

Fruit Basket

Gigantes Y Cabezudos


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