October 12 is a big day in Spain. Together with the 22 other countries that have Spanish as their official language, we celebrate El Día de la Hispanidad. It's a day to rejoice in hispanic culture and the sisterhood of all Spanish-speaking countries.
But October 12 is also Spain's National Day. It's a holiday in the whole country, with a big military parade in Madrid, and everyone gets off work or school. But it's in the city of Zaragoza where the real fun happens!
The Fiestas de Pilar are an annual festival celebrated in Zaragoza (Northeastern Spain) in honor of the patron saint of the city, the Virgen del Pilar (or Virgin Mary of the Pillar). This week-long festival starts the weekend before October 12 and ends the following Sunday.
A wide variety of events are organized by the City Hall and private organizations, including shows, contests, concerts, one fair, an offering of flowers to the Virgin on October 12, and the two most-beloved traditions: the gigantes y cabezudos (giants and big heads) parade, and lots of jota (Zaragoza's traditional folk dance).
Take a look at the pictures below for examples of this fun festival!