This annual festival in Zaragoza, Spain celebrates Virgen del Pilar
(Virgin Mary of the Pillar) patron saint of the city.
week-long event begins the weekend of October 12, or
the weekend before, and continues through to the following
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
|The Offering of Flowers
Throughout the day of October 12, thousands of people demonstrate
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.
Offering of Fruits
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.
Glass Rosary Parade
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.
The Fiestas del Pilar also features an opening speech by a Town Crier,
giant costumed papier-mâché
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.