Postcard from Zaragoza, Spain: Glowing glass floats honor La Senora del Pilar

Above: Thirty-thousand pieces of glass were cut and assembled to create a 14-foot-long illuminated reproduction of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar carried through the streets of Zaragoza every October 13th.

An annual 10-day fiesta honors Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza. Music, food trucks, clowns, carnival rides, folk dancing and lively parades of Gigantes y Cabezudos (larger than life-size paper-mache figures) fill the calendar. And, of course, fireworks.

But the evening parade of Faroles y Rosario de Cristal on October 13 is perhaps the most solemn and beautiful of the events. Bobbing lanterns and 15 illuminated glass floats, some 16 feet in height, weave their way through the streets. The annual procession was founded in 1889 by the Brotherhood of the Most Holy Rosary of Our Lady of the Pillar. To inspire prayers, numerous of the lanterns and floats depict the glorious, joyful and sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary.

Above: Detail of float dedicated to Marianist sites

Those not present on October 13, as we were not, can still appreciate the beauty of the lanterns and floats on display inside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

Below is a glimpse of the more exuberant portions of the 10-day fiesta.

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