ZARAGOZA GETS READY FOR THE FIESTAS DEL PILAR
The city of Zaragoza is gearing up for its biggest party of the year, the Fiestas del Pilar. One of Spain’s largest folkloric street festivals, this annual celebration attracts visitors from across the globe to this vibrant city, home to over half the population of Aragón, and is the ideal time to visit.
The much anticipated fiestas originated from a celebration of the time St James the Apostle came to spread the word about Christianity in 40AD. It is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared on a pillar and asked for a church to be built where he was standing. Today, the Basilica del Pilar marks the spot and hordes of pilgrims still come to kiss a small unprotected part of the famous pillar where the Virgin descended.
Kicking off on 4 October, Zaragoza will indulge in ten hedonistic days of partying and patriotism. Activities include theatre, music, dancing, beer-garden style parties, a funfair and puppet shows among other things. Partake in the inevitable and spontaneous Flamenco dancing or learn to dance the Jota with the locals! The festival comes alive in the evenings in El Tubo with its large selection of bars filled with lively partygoers.
12 October sees hundreds of merrymakers honour the Virgin of Pilar with offerings of flowers and fruit before following a spectacular parade that travels magnificently through the city streets. On 13 October head to the city centre to enjoy the grand finale, involving a rainbow of fireworks across the majestic Ebro River.