October 12 is coming. On this day, Spanish people celebrate the festivity of the Virgin of El Pilar, patron saint of Spain and the Hispanic world. That day is a bank holiday, so everything is closed and Spaniards take advantage of this “three-days weekend ” to travel or visit relatives.
In this post, we would like you to read about the Basilica del Pilar in Zaragoza and the singular celebrations of this beautiful city during these days. It is believed that the Apostle Santiago came to Spain in the 1st century A.d. to preach the Gospel. After a while, he was so discouraged that the Virgin appeared to him in Zaragoza on top of a pillar to give him strength. It was then when the first chapel was built on the banks of the Ebro River in Her honour and later a Gothic temple on this, which would be finally replaced in 1688 by the current Basilica.
The Virgin is dressed every day with a new cape, and there is a small museum in the temple where we can contemplate all her capes and jewels (some of them donated by influential people in different areas). During the Spanish Civil War, two bombs (that failed to explode) were thrown in 1936 by the Republican side. Since then, they can be seen in the interior of the Basilica, which is a major cause of controversy nowadays.
During the main week, up to a million people visit Zaragoza. Among the main events beside party for youngsters, a floral offering to the Virgin and “jotas”, which are popular songs sung until early hours in the morning. In addition, the “Glass Rosary” is one of the most important moments.
Party and religion mix these days in Zaragoza, so we encourage you to visit this magical city where you can taste delicious dishes to suit all tastes.