Fiestas del Pilar in Zaragoza – Photo & Video Gallery
Fiestas del Pilar in Zaragoza, Spain, is one of the most impressive traditional Spanish fiestas. It lasts over a week around mid October, and it’s filled with religious celebrations, folklore parades, singing and dancing, and a veriety of events, concerts and many other attractions.
The essence of the celebration is venerating the patron saint of the city, Our Lady of the Pillar (Virgen del Pilar). The roots of this veneration in Zaragoza date back to the 12th century, and the celebration the Marian Apparition on 12th October was introduced in 1640.
Baturros – Traditional Costumes
Traditional Aragonese folk figures are called baturro for men and baturra for women. They have an everyday version and a one for special occasions. The woman’s costume consists of a cotton skirt covered by a refajo – an apron, with a white blouse and a shawl. The man’s costume consists of short black knee-length pants, worn with a white shirt, vest and girdle, and a checkered scarf – cachirulo – worn on the head.
During Fiestas del Pilar, Zaragoza fills with beautifully dressed baturros and baturras, which is a real spectacle to see.
Rondas joteras are groups performing traditional songs and dances – jotas – moving from one street and square to another. Their route is planned, so that people can join and follow them in different points of the city.
Giants & Big Heads
Every day during Fiestas del Pilar there is a traditional parade of Gigantes (Giants) and Cabezudos (Big Heads), huge figures of papier-mâché in historical costumes, walking around the city centre. For children, it’s one of the highlights of the fiesta.
The Flower Offering
The most famous ceremony of Fiestas del Pilar is Ofrenda de Flores (Flower Offering). People parade in the old town dressed in folk dresses and put up to 8 million(!) flowers under St Mary’s statue on a huge pyramid.
The Fruit Offering
The following day, there is an analogical Ofrenda de Frutos (Fruit Offering), when the Regional Associations from all over Spain donate a wide variety of fruits. It’s a fantastic occasion to see a wide variety of folk costumes from entire Spain – they are gorgeous!
Glass Rosary is an evening parade with prayers, with 29 glass religious figures called faroles (lamps), beautifully illuminated. The most spectacular one has the shape of Basilica del Pilar (the first two photos below).
Street Parties during Fiestas del Pilar
Fiestas del Pilar include as many as 450 events, so everybody can find something that suits their taste. There are concerts, performances, fireworks, and plenty of parties, drinking and typical food.
Several times during the Fiestas del Pilar and at the end of the festivity, there is a splendid show of fireworks close to the beautiful Basilica del Pilar.