Fiestas del Pilar in Zaragoza
With an enriching history of 2000 years, Zaragoza, situated by the serene Ebro river, is one of the greatest places of historical and artistic significance in Spain. Warm and inviting, this place offers a spectacular view of Basilica-Cathedral across the banks of the river, along with other impressive tourist spots and captivating landscapes. When you are there, don’t miss the opportunity to take a stroll through the fascinating Primo de Rivera Park or visit the Calle Alfonso, sited in the heart of the city.
In Spain, Fiestas del Pilar (The Pilar Festival) attracts a huge number of people, not only from different parts of Spain but across the globe. To get a taste of Spain’s festive flavour, take part in the Pilar Festival, which is celebrated on the 12th of October, every year. The streets of Zaragoza enlivens with loud throbbing music, crackling fireworks, flower trails, parades of hundreds and thousands of people and outstanding theatre performances in the honour of the patron saint of the city, the Virgen del Pilar. The deity is paid respect with plenty of flower showers, while the history of Spain is relived and celebrated across the roads. Trails of orchids, roses and lilies find their way up to the Plaza de Pilar to be offered to the female patron saint of Spain.
The exact roots of this world famous festival date back to 40AD when St James, one of the apostles landed to this city to introduce and spread Christianity among the Pagan population. During his journey, on the eve of January 2nd, it is believed that Virgin Mary descended on a marble pillar to ask him to build a church on the very ground upon which he was standing at that time. Immediately a church was ordered to be built, though initially, it was very small but later on magnificent bigger churches were built over the centuries. Today, marvellous Basilica del Pilar, designed and built in 1681, dominates the landscape of that serene place.
If you’re interested in visiting Spain and being a part of this outstanding spectacle then be ready to hit the streets wearing the most colourful outfit you have. The streets will help you witness bull fighting, traditional flamenco dance and folk music like never before. Also, powerful plays and theatres dominate this Spanish celebration by inviting popular actors and actresses to entertain the crowds.
When and where to go
The El Pilar festival starts from 12th October and lasts for around 9 days during which the city gets decked up with thousands of revellers, sparkling fireworks and heavenly music. Zaragoza is the place where the event takes and it is the fifth largest city in Spain. Loaded with stunning Roman artefacts, enclosed towering castles and multi-domed Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Pilar by the Río Ebro river, this age-old Europe city offers enough reasons to pay a visit.
How to reach
Zaragoza airport is situated 10km west of the city with regular flights to/from flights from London, Milan, Lanzarote, Brussels, Paris and Seville. Train and bus routes are also available.