The popular event known as Flower Offering of the Virgin of the Pillar is a cultural encounter that is carried out by the population of the city of Zaragoza mainly, and in which also participate communities of other zones of Spain, of the World, as well as associations, towns of the region of Aragon, etc. It is an encounter that is realized from 77 years ago when the tradition began in the middle of century 20th.
The beginning of the offering of flowers for the Virgen del Pilar
From the 1940s onwards, the Holy Chapel of the Virgin of Pilar began to be adorned with flowers every January 2nd and October 12th, to celebrate the day of the advent of the Virgin Mary on El Pilar and the day of the festivities of the city of Zaragoza respectively.
When it was the first offering to the Virgen del Pilar
It was from 1958 when the councilman of parties, Manuel Rodeles, introduced in the official program the Offering of Flowers to the Virgin of the Pillar, so that the population could carry out the act of the offering in a structured way, beginning a growing tradition strongly rooted in today.
The first offering was made on October 12th, 1958, with a replica of La Virgen placed on the facade of the Basilica del Pilar.
In that event, about 2,000 people participated and, in which the town hall placed several thousand carnations in addition to the popular contribution. In the following years, activity was increasing on the day of the offering and in 1965 more than 5,000 people participated in the offering of flowers. In that same year the “Fiestas del Pilar” were declared, like “Fiesta of the National Tourist Interest”
The offering of flowers to the Virgin, a deeply rooted tradition
The Offering of Flowers of the Virgin of the Pillar, being already the main act of the Celebrations of the Pillar by volume of citizen participation in a single act and by volume of attendance of people to witness the act, exceeded in the year 1980, 50,000 people participated in the offering.
The offering of flowers to the Virgen del Pilar at the present time
An important change in the development of the Flower Offering to the Virgin of the Pillar was, in 1988, the initiative of the filmmaker Bigas Luna, who placed the replica of the Virgen del Pilar in the center of the square, visibility and volume of the mantle of flowers surrounding the Virgin of Pilar on the day of the offering, 15 meters high, 55 deep and 18 wide.
Nowadays, over 300,000 participants are surpassed every year, for the 12 hours that the Offering of Flowers to the Virgen del Pilar.
The Cross of Lorraine in the mantle of flowers of the Virgen del Pilar
The mantle for flowers of the Virgen del Pilar, in its upper part, is composed with a mantle of flowers that create the Lorraine Cross, a world symbol of the antituberculous struggle, offered by the present Association of the Cross of Lorraine, put together by the staff of Royo Villanova Hospital and friends.
The appearance of the cloak of the day for the offering is always presided over by the image of the Cross of Lorraine on the mantle where all the flowers for the popular offering are placed.