Where: Zaragoza, Spain
Coinciding with Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, the Fiestas del Pilar, or Pilar Festival is the biggest annual event in Zaragoza. The festival burns for around nine days and is mainly centred in and around the area of town known as “El Tubo” which is packed with bars and is a Mecca for revellers.
During the run up to the acyaul main event, the town throbs with music, parades, flowers, and theatre productions in honour of the Virgin of Pilar. This, the female patron saint of Spain is honoured with masses of flowers that are strewn along the streets into the Plaza de Pilar in an offering to the Virgin.
A procession of giants with big heads (gigantes y cabezudos) is also a highlight of the event, where huge papier mache figures join the street carnival to mingle with the crowds. Bull fighting , plays and theatre are also a big part of this celebration, which often attract famous players to entertain the crowds, especially in the particularly enjoyable one act plays.
Any trip to Zaragoza should include a nighttime visit to the Paseo de los Bearneses to enjoy its spectacularly lit fountain. Specially chosen music compliments the lights, while adjacent neighbourhoods join in with fireworks during the festivities.
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