The Fiestas del Pilar is the biggest event on Zaragoza‘s calendar. It consists of a week-long celebration, honouring the patron saint of the city – La Virgen del Pilar. There’s everything from parades of giants and big heads to floral offerings, concerts, street theatre and fireworks. The festival takes place each year in October and this year will be held from October 6, 2018 to October 14, 2018. The most important day of the event is the 12th.
Carnival celebrations happen all over Spain around February or early March, just before Lent. If you find yourself in Aragón during this time, make your way to the town of Bielsa, which holds the best in the region. During the event, men dress as goat-like creatures called ‘trangas’, with goat skin over their heads, large horns, blackened faces and large potatoes for teeth. They then run around with bells trying to attract the women of the town and are said to represent fertility.
During Easter Week, the place to head to in Aragón is the town of Hijar in the Teruel province, where the Tamborradas take place. At this festival, religious brotherhoods dressed in black robes to mourn the death of Christ, begin banging drums at midnight on Maunday Thursday. The drumming then continues all the way through the night until midday the next day.
From July 11 – 26 the International Music Festival takes place at the castle in the medieval village of Aínsa. Groups come here from all over the world to perform concerts, theatre and dances.
On June 25th each year, pilgrims arrive in Yebra de Basa, dressed in folkloric costumes and carry the skull of St Orosia or St. Eurosia (patron saint of the town of Jaca) to her shrine.
The Pyrenean Folklore Festival is held every two years in the town of Jaca and showcases Pyrenean tradition and culture in all its glory. There’s everything from exhibitions and gastronomic events to dance classes and musical workshops. There are of course many performances, with stages set throughout the old town. The next festival will take place in 2019.
Around mid-September the medieval town of Aínsa (one of our ‘Most beautiful villages in Aragón‘) holds a reenactment of an 8th century battle between the Christians and the Moors. Over 300 people take part in the battle, which has been performed here since the 1678. It is said that the Christians saw a strange burning red cross (the symbol of the region) on an oak tree, which spurred them on to defeat the Moors.
The Pyrenees South International Festival of Cultures takes place in the town of Sallent de Gállego in the Huesca province. It’s a meeting of cultures and world music and began as a festival dedicated to African music. Since then, editions of the festival have focused on everything from Caribbean music to Islamic music. Performances take place on a floating stage in a mountain lake in the Tena Valley. It will next be held from July 13 – 29, 2018.