Zaragoza: the traditional fiestas del Pilar

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Blog > Money exchange > Zaragoza

Zaragoza: the traditional fiestas del Pilar

We arriving to the end of September, and by this time most of us are back to the daily routine. We already forgot about the sunny days, the swimming and the free time. But before our mindset goes into low battery mode here is something to get you exited. Its almost October! And what happens in October? Ok Halloween, but that’s towards the end. Ok ok Oktoberfest, but that already started in mid-September. I am talking about Las fiestas del Pilar, yeah plural, las fiestas not just la fiesta and why is that? That is because the celebrations spread all over the Spanish country and though many days. But we are going to focus just on the Spanish city where the tradition is bigger… Zaragoza. 

For ten days in the month of October, Zaragoza is bursting with festivities and filled with fun. The capital of Aragon becomes a city of joy, imaginative, colourful and, above all, it displays its well-earned reputation for being a city which always gives a warm welcome to visitors. 

Just in case some of you don’t know, the name of La Virgen del Pilar is no other than one of the many representations of the Virgin Mery. The holiday dates back to 40 AD when, in an effort to spread Christianity, St. James the Apostle came to Zarazoga. It is believed that St. James the Apostle was asked by the Virgin Mary, who is located upon a marble pillar, to build a church on the exact land in which he was standing upon. As a result, we now have the Basilica del Pilar which initially was designed in the year 1681 and wasn’t finished until well into the 20th century. The pillar in which Mary stood upon is located within the Holy Chapel, also known as the Capilla Santa, of the Basilica. Although the official day in which the holiday is celebrated is October 12, be prepared to celebrate with a week’s worth of dancing and music while basking in Spain’s rich history and culture.

Thorough the week there are many traditions and events like The Dawn Rosary, the offering of tons of fruit to the virgin on the 13th or the procession of the Rosario de Cristal, but we going to tell you a bit more about the main act, the big even, the famous grand homage to the patroness of the Hispanic world: The Flower Offering

the Flower Offering, takes place on October 12.  From early in the morning until late in the evening, hundreds of thousands of citizens of Aragon and from all over the world congregate in the main and adjacent streets of the city in order to place their flowers before the Virgen del Pilar and pay homage to the Patroness of the Hispanic World. At the endo of the day, between six and eight million flowers have been placed creating a scene which is unique in the world.
The Flower Offering has become a tradition passed on from parents to children and is an example of mass participation. However, it is also an example of tradition renewed.
From early in the morning, hundreds of thousands of citizens from Aragon, other Autonomous Communities and from all over the world, dressed in their regional costumes (the only requisite to participate), walk in procession in front of the Virgen and place at her feet millions of flowers brought as homage to the Patroness of the people of Aragon and of the community of the Hispanic World. All day long, one can sense in the air the joy of those who come to render their small homage in the form of a flower to the Virgen del Pilar.
The beginnings of the Offering must be sought in the forties of the XX century when the Chapel of the Virgen was decorated for feast days. Carnations, roses and spikenards scent the air of the Holy Chapel. However, it was in 1958, when Luis Gómez Laguna was Mayor of Zaragoza that the Councilor for Festivals, Manuel Rodeles, added a popular, participatory act to the program, similar to the flower offerings held in eastern Spain.

As we mentioned before, people from all over the world visit Spain to celebrate this tradition which is the same day that the Hispanic Day (this is a small spoiler of next post). But this week we focused on Zaragoza, and all this beautiful city has to offer. And of course, Zaragoza also offers you the chance of exchanging money in one of our Eurochange offices. So, if you are one of the many visitors that come from all over the world to enjoy these traditional holydays, please visit us to exchange your currency into euros. As always, we will provide you not just with incredible exchanges rates, but also with the biggest smile and more during this special time in our city of Zaragoza.