Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nuestra Senora, la Virgen Pilar, toros, and hot water.....oh my!

So, wow. What a weekend. The gals and I ventured to Zaragoza for the world famous celebration of Aragon's Patron Saint, Pilar. We arrived on Sunday afternoon and crashed with another auxiliar living there, who was nice enough to let us stay the weekend. Well..than the party began!

We cruised around Zaragoza for awhile...figuring out the mean streets, (which turned out to be not so bad) and we eventually found our way to the main plaza where everything was going down. The Basilica de la virgen Pilar is the central item in the plaza, with old Zaragoza surrounding it and the Ebro river crawling behind it. So there was a lot of room for activity. For the festival there were radio crews set up, the news, a concert stage...everything! There were already sooo many people around, it was crazy. One thing we noticed was that tons of kids were wearing white overalls, with writing all over them. Like every teenager imaginable wore them...we finally asked someone and learned that they were called 'petos' and that it was tradition to wear them to events and outings, after having you friends sign crazy! Anyways, that night we met up with Kristin and we grabbed some wine and 'botelloned' (simply put, when you gather in a group and drink outside, in the streets, on a sidewalk, wherever you wish really) on the side of the cathedral! It was excellent fun...I even found Don Simon! woo! But anways, also in the plaza was this giant metal structure that looked like a pyramid. That was the center event on the following day.
Basilica de Nuestra Virgen de Pilar from the Ebro River

From the plaza at night, the pyramid...

The following day we trudged back to the plaza, only this time to find the most people I have ever seen in my life in one spot. It was incredible the amount of people that attended this event. The streets were absolutely mobbed. But it was so neat as to what was going on. People from all over Aragon had come to Zaragoza, dressed in the traditional dress of their ancestors, and brought floral offerings for their patroness. That pyramid thing was actually what the flowers were put into, creating a humongous pyramid of flowers. It was absolutely mesmorizing to see from the young to the old (my age included) have so much pride in their nationality. Thousands of people dressed up and celebrated their aragonese pride. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Post flower offering....

One of the events going in the month of October in Zaragoza are daily bullfights, something which is a bit of a divided subject in Spain. Well, the girls and I had the lucky experience of being caught in the middle of a protest! We were sitting in this plaza, when all of a sudden we see people starting to congrugate with boards and and flyers, and people dressed up in red and was crazy! All of a sudden, they did like this charge move and they all started yelling and shouting and ranting and raving...protesting the bullfight! Police showed up and was nuts! We were able to get out of there...but it was kinda cool! haha! Never done that before!

All in all, Zaragoza was a beautiful city...and extremely easy to get too; I can't wait to go back! There is a giant salsa expo there in can bet that I'll be there!

Well, the good news is that we get hot water tomorrow! Yay....a warm shower is gonna be awesome! Can't wait......

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like it was so much fun. I'm so happy for you and thanks for putting the pictures up! Xoxox