Spain is well-known for many festivals, colorful carnivals and fiestas. In total the country celebrates about 140 official holidays, but in every area, city and even a small village there are countless local festivals and celebrations (important dates, days of the patron saints, etc.), and such there are more than 2500 provincial holidays. It has been calculated that every day in different towns and villages in Spain are celebrated eight simultaneous holidays.
Fiestas del Pilar is one of such holidays. It is celebrated on October 12 in Zaragoza in honor of Mary of Pilar, who is the patron saint of the city. As legend tells, in January 40 AD, the apostle James saw the Holy Virgin Mary standing on a marble pillar (in Spanish - pilar), she supported the apostle in his missionary work. When the Virgin Mary gone she left the column, which became a place of pilgrimage for the first Spanish Christians. Around the relic was built a small chapel, which in the VIII was rebuilt into the church, and in the XII century after the liberation of the city from the Moors - the cathedral. The final form the main temple of Zaragoza Basilica Nuestra Senora del Pilar acquired after 1681. Today it is second only to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage center in Spain, its main shrine, a marble column can be seen in the Holy Chapel in the eastern part of the temple. In the painting of the church took part F. Goya, on the north dome remained one of his frescoes - "The Queen of Martyrs" painted in 1780-1781 and in the chapel near the ceiling - "The Adoration of the Jesus Angels ".
Zaragoza residents love and honor their patron saint and it is not surprising that the Fiestas del Pilar is celebrated with a great scale. On this day on the Plaza del Pilar are held many concerts, where participate the most popular singers in Spain. Around the historic city center will be held the solemn processions, will be organized fairs and performances of street actors. We should not forget that October 12 is a double celebration in Spain: Feast of the Virgin Pilar and the National Day of Spain Dia de Hispanidad.
Fiestas del Pilar is the most vivid and spectacular holiday in the north-east of Spain and to take part or simply watch it in Zaragoza arrive hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over Europe.