I am not quite sure if my readers know the history of the festival that took place this past week.
The Virgin of Pilar is the female patron Saint of Spain and therefore is an extremely important part of Spanish but specifically Zaragoza's culture. The basilica is visited by many pilgrims every year and they go to kiss the exposed part of the marble pillar that St. James saw. The feast day is October 12 and it also coincides with Columbus day for Americans but Dia de la Hispanidad for all Hispanic people. As a result all Hispanic Catholics celebrate the Virgin. The celebration starts before the 12th but the 12th is the most important day because that is when the offering takes place. People from many cultures and backgrounds bring an offering of flowers to the Virgin. La ofrenda starts very early in the morning and lasts all day because the skirt made of flowers is enormous. While it is mostly a celebration of Aragonese history and culture there are many types of dancing and music on display for all to see and participate during the 9 days.
It was a great time and then this morning when I got up I looked out and they were tearing it all down. It was a bit depressing to see but it will be there next year.